Both the SEC’s and CFTC’s civil cases against EmpiresX and its owners have been administratively stayed.
In separate orders filed on September 19th and 28th, Judge Altonaga stayed the cases pending service on defendants Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves.
Pires and Goncalves ran EmpiresX. Both defendants, who have also been criminally charged, fled to Brazil upon learning they were under investigation.
As a result the SEC and CFTC have initiated international service on the Defendants through the Hague Convention.
While that will get the job done, the immediate issue is it’s a time consuming process.
Acknowledging that service via Hague Convention can take “six to eight months, or more”, the court has ordered both cases stayed to “ensure the orderly progress of the case(s)”.
The CFTC has been directed to file Status Reports detailing service progress every 60 days, beginning October 7th. The SEC has been directed to do the same beginning October 28th.
The case shall be restored to the active docket after all Defendants are served upon Court order following motion of a party.
After all Defendants have been served, Defendants shall submit a single combined response or separate answers within the time allowed for the last-served Defendant to respond.
Co-defendants Empires Consulting Corp and Joshua Nicholas have already been served.
I’ll continue to monitor both the SEC’s and CFTC’s case dockets for updates on a monthly basis.