|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2022
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
NOTE 14 - LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
On January 14, 2021, Plaintiff Michael Ho (“Plaintiff” or “Ho”) filed a Civil Complaint for Damages and Restitution (“Complaint”) against the Company and 10 Doe Defendants. The Complaint alleges six causes of action against the Company, (1) Breach of Written Contract; (2) Breach of Implied Contract; (3) Quasi-Contract; (4) Services Rendered; (5) Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Relations; and (6) Negligent Interference with Prospective Economic Relations, which is the one plead against “all Defendants” and is most likely to involve later named defendants. The claims arise from the same set of facts, Ho alleges that the Company profited from commercially sensitive information he shared with the Company and then it refused to compensate him for his role in securing the acquisition of a supplier of energy for the Company. On February 22, 2021, the Company responded to Mr. Ho’s Complaint with a general denial and the assertion of applicable affirmative defenses. Then, on February 25, 2021, the Company removed the action to the United States District Court in the Central District of California, where the action remains pending. The Company filed a motion for summary judgment/adjudication of all causes of action. On February 11, 2022, the Court granted the motion and dismissed Ho’s 2nd, 5th and 6th causes of action. Discovery is substantially closed. The Court held a pre-trial conference on February 24, 2022, where it vacated the March 3, 2022 trial date and ordered the parties to meet and confer on a new trial date. The Court discussed the various theories of damages maintained by the parties. In its ruling on the summary judgment motion and at the pre-trial conference on February 24, 2022, the Court noted that a jury is more likely to accept $150,000 thousand as an appropriate damages amount if liability is found, as opposed to the various theories espoused by Ho that result in multi-million-dollar recoveries. Due to outstanding issues of fact and law, it is impossible to predict the outcome at this time; however, after consulting legal counsel, the Company is confident that it will prevail in this litigation, since it did not have a contract with Mr. Ho and he did not disclose any commercially sensitive information under any mutual nondisclosure agreement that was used to structure any joint venture with energy providers. Trial is scheduled for May 2023.
On October 6, 2020, the Company entered into a series of agreements with multiple parties to design and build a data center for up to 100-megawatts in Hardin, MT. In conjunction therewith, the Company filed a Current Report on Form 8-K on October 13, 2020. The 8-K disclosed that, pursuant to a Data Facility Services Agreement, the Company issued shares of restricted common stock, in transactions exempt from registration under Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. During the quarter ended September 30, 2021, the Company and certain of its executives received a subpoena to produce documents and communications concerning the Hardin, Montana data center facility described in our Form 8-K dated October 13, 2020. We understand that the SEC may be investigating whether or not there may have been any violations of the federal securities law. We are cooperating with the SEC.
Putative Class Action Complaint
On December 17, 2021, a putative class action complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, against the Company and present and former senior management. The complaint alleges securities fraud related to the disclosure of an SEC investigation previously made by the Company on November 15, 2021. Plaintiff Tad Schlatre served the complaint on the Company on March 1, 2022. On September 12, 2022, the court appointed Carlos Marina as lead plaintiff. On October 21, 2022, lead plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the complaint without prejudice.
On February 18, 2022, a shareholder derivative complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, against current and former members of the Company’s board of directors and senior management. The complaint is based on allegations substantially similar to the allegations in the December 2021 putative class action complaint, related to the Company’s disclosure of an SEC investigation previously made by the Company on November 15, 2021. On March 4, 2022, the complaint was served on the Company. On April 4, 2022, the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint.
On May 5, 2022, a second shareholder derivative complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, against current and former members of the Company’s board of directors and senior management. The second shareholder derivative complaint is based on allegations substantially similar to the allegations in the February 18, 2022 derivative complaint. On May 11, 2022, the defendants moved to dismiss the second shareholder derivative complaint.
On June 1, 2022, the Court entered an order consolidating the two derivative actions. A June 13, 2022 scheduling order provided for plaintiffs to file a consolidated complaint and for renewed motions to dismiss the consolidated shareholder derivative complaint. On November 22, 2022, before a consolidated complaint was due, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed both actions without prejudice. On November 23, 2022, both actions were closed.
During the year ended December 31, 2022, the Company recorded a $26,000 thousand legal reserve charge related to the fair value of certain stock grants used for personal income tax reporting purposes during 2021. The majority of this reserve was related to a claim made by the Company’s former Chairman and CEO. In working on this initial claim, the Company discovered that seven other individuals were also impacted by the same issue, including one current board member and the current Chairman and CEO. The total amount of this portion of the reserve amounted to approximately $2,000 thousand. Legal settlements that were accrued but remained unpaid as of December 31, 2022 of $1,171 thousand were classified as “legal reserve payable”.
Compute North Bankruptcy
On September 22, 2022, Compute North filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Compute North provides operating services to the Company and hosts our mining rigs in multiple facilities. We delivered miners to Compute North, which then installed the mining rigs in several facilities, operated and maintained the mining rigs, and provides energy to keep the miners operating. In chapter 11, Compute North is currently seeking to sell substantially all of its assets, including its direct and indirect ownership interests in the facilities that house the Company’s miners. Compute North may also seek to assume and assign the Compute North agreements to which the Company is party to one or more third-party purchasers of Compute North’s assets or it may seek to reject such agreements. Accordingly, Compute North’s chapter 11 cases could cause a disruption in services provided by Compute North to us and, therefore, could have an adverse effect on our operations in the facilities managed by Compute North.
At this stage of Compute North’s chapter 11 cases, it is difficult to predict whether Marathon will receive any meaningful recovery on account of its claims.
No definition available.
The entire disclosure for legal proceedings, legal contingencies, litigation, regulatory and environmental matters and other contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef