A senior Apple Inc. executive working on the technology giant’s electric-car efforts was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly breaking securities rules at his former company, the electric-vehicle startup Canoo.
(Bloomberg) — A senior Apple Inc. executive working on the technology giant’s electric-car efforts was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly breaking securities rules at his former company, the electric-vehicle startup Canoo.
Ulrich Kranz, the former chief executive officer of Canoo, and former Canoo Chief Financial Officer Paul Balciunas were sued in federal court in Los Angeles for allegedly providing unreasonable revenue projections. Kranz also was accused of misstating how much he was paid.
The two men no longer work at Canoo. Apple declined to comment, and Kranz couldn’t be reached immediately for comment. Balciunas’s current employer, Apex.AI Inc., a maker of software for autonomous vehicles, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Balciunas.
The SEC is seeking to bar the pair from serving as officers at public companies, in addition to exacting fines from both of them. Canoo itself agreed in March to pay $1.5 million as part of a settlement of an SEC investigation into its 2020 merger with a special purpose acquisition company.
The commission opened the probe into Canoo in early 2021, looking into the company’s “operations, business model, revenues, revenue strategy, customer agreements, earnings and other related topics, along with the recent departures of certain of the company’s officers.”
In 2021, Apple hired Kranz, who also once led BMW AG’s electric-car business, to help lead the company’s own vehicle efforts. He’s been overseeing hardware design for the car, reporting to project head Kevin Lynch.
The case is SEC v. Ulrich Kranz, Paul Balciunas, 23-cv-06332, US District Court for the Central District of California.
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