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Investors sue Virgin Galactic for stock fraud

Capitalism in space: A federal complaint has been filed against Virgin Galactic, claiming the company made false and misleading reports concerning its financial state.

Investor Shane Levin and other unnamed plaintiffs claim in their complaint that Virgin Galatic CEO Michael Colglazier, former CEO George Whitesides, CFO Doug Ahrens and former CFO Jon Campagna knowingly presented incorrect financial statements to inflate the company’s stock price and entice buyers.

The lawsuit is seeking class-action status and unspecified damages, in addition to legal fees.

Also today an anonymous source claimed that, assuming Virgin Galactic can get FAA approval, the company has suddenly changed its test flight schedule and is now planning to fly Richard Branson on its SpaceShipTwo Unity spacecraft on July 4th. This would have Branson reach suborbital space about two weeks ahead of Jeff Bezos, who is presently scheduled to fly on a suborbital flight his own New Shepard spacecraft on July 20th.

Branson for almost two decades has promised he would fly on the first commercial operational flight of SpaceShipTwo, while also promising repeatedly that this flight was only months away. All of those promises were bunkum. Now faced with Jeff Bezos grabbing that first flight, Branson is suddenly scrambling to finally get it done, even if it means disrupting Virgin Galactic’s already announced test schedule.

The first story above tells us something about the honesty of Virgin Galactic’s finances. The second story tells us something about the trustworthiness of its management and engineering. I might consider the pace of Blue Origin in the past five years to have been far too slow, but they have at least shown a careful deliberate path to flight. Bezos’ July 20th flight might be a stunt, but it is being done to demonstrate his trust in his product.

Not so much from Branson and Virgin Galactic. For Branson, feeding his ego seems more important.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

6 comments

  • concerned

    I thought Sir Richard was supposed to take his family along on his first joyride. What happened to those plans?

  • Jeff Wright

    I’m surprised the suit took this long.

  • Col Beausabre

    About time !

  • Jay

    Interesting. Branson sold his personal shares of Virgin Galactic last year for over $500 million. Branson is still the head of the Virgin Group which owns a one third share of this subsidiary – Virgin Galactic.
    I know that subsidiaries are created to protect the parent company from liabilities. I guess this is a question for a business lawyer, but can they go after Branson for the past sales of stock if these falsified numbers are true?

  • What law firm is handling the Class Action Suite against Virgin Galatic and Richard Branson for fraud? I am 76 and have lost over $40,000becasue of the deflated SPCE stock. I want to be of the suite filed by Shane Levin. I am getting no where. I have the case # 21-cv-03070. I keep going down one Rabbit Trail after another.

    In the kindness of on of your hearts can you tell me how to find out the Law Firm handling this case of how to contact Shane Levin, it would be well appreciated.

    Cordially yours, David NuHavun 315-372-3024…Syracuse, N.Y.

  • David NuHavun: Some information on the New York lawsuit can be found here\

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-07/judge-says-virgin-galactic-investors-can-continue-branson-suit?leadSource=uverify%20wall

    This story involves Kusnier v Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc, 21-cv-3070, US District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

    Information about the Shane Livin lawsuit can be found here:

    https://parabolicarc.com/2021/12/19/class-action-lawsuit-filed-against-virgin-galactic-alleging-securities-fraud/

    It appears you are spelling Shane Lavin’s name wrong, which might be part of your difficulty locating the case. Lavin’s actual complain can be found here [pdf].

    It lists the plantiff’s attorneys as:

    BRONSTEIN, GEWIRTZ & GROSSMAN, LLC
    Peretz Bronstein
    60 East 42nd Street, Suite 4600
    New York, New York 10165
    Telephone: (212) 697-6484

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