Momo Inc. (MOMO) Accused of Illicit Dealings
According to the complaint against the company for alleged violations of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 between April 21, 2015 through April 29, 2019, in May 2018, Momo Inc. (MOMO) successfully acquired Tantan, a social and dating app in China. CEO Yan Tang lauded the acquisition by touting Tantan’s user growth and monetization. Less than a month later, Spruce Point issued a short seller report on Momo. The report cited possible compliance issues, related party transactions, and illicit business dealings and financial reporting activity. According to several agencies cited throughout the report, Momo had a reputation for being a “sex cam” service, which put Momo at an increased risk of violating regulations limiting the behavior of live streamers and raising accountability for platforms. Following the release of the Spruce Point Report, Momo’s ADR price fell $2.48 per share to close at $42.86 on June 27, 2018. Then, a mere three days after Momo filed its 2018 annual report in April 2019, it disclosed that the Company’s Tantan social and dating mobile app had been removed from certain mobile app stores at the direction of Chinese authorities. On this news, Momo’s price fell $2.51 per share, or 6.81%, to close at $34.36 on April 29, 2019, and continues to decline.