Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company (BPOC) has announced it will sell Cranial Technologies to Eurazeo.

Cranial Technologies, based in Tempe, Ariz., is a developer, manufacturer and provider of custom cranial orthotics for treating infants with plagiocephaly. Founded in 1986, the company manufactures the DOC Band, a custom cranial orthotic.

BPOC, based in Chicago,

Backed by unrealistically ambitious owners, well-intentioned business ideas that fail to meet expectations or become unsustainable regrettably often become full-fledged Ponzi schemes.  Today’s Growth Consultant, Inc. (“TGC”) represents an entity that faced the same fate.

TGC advertised to potential investors its expertise in building, acquiring, and monetizing online websites.  Investors paid an upfront fee to TGC to purchase, host, maintain, and market the investors’ websites in exchange for TGC’s guarantee that investors would receive a minimum rate of return in perpetuity on the revenues TGC generated from those websites.  TGC raised at least $75 million during a nearly three year period, but its business model proved unsuccessful—it failed to timely purchase and build the promised websites or generate the promised revenue to cover the guaranteed returns to investors.  Instead, TGC turned into a Ponzi scheme to sustain its failing business by paying early investors with money it raised from later investors.

TGC maintained its business bank accounts at Defendants Heartland Bank and Trust Company (“Heartland”) and PNC Bank, N.A. (“PNC”) (collectively, “Defendants”).  TGC banked with Heartland until October 2018, and with PNC thereafter until December 2019.  Defendants provided TGC with typical banking services, including deposit accounts, commercial loans and revolving lines of credit, ACH capabilities, and transfers into, out of, and among TGC’s accounts.

In a recent decision in PLB Investments LLC et al. v. Heartland Bank and Trust Co. et al., the Northern District of Illinois decided that various defrauded investors of TGC (“Plaintiffs”) did not set forth sufficient allegations to show actual knowledge of a Ponzi scheme or bad faith in support of various Illinois state law claims against PNC.  No. 20 C 1023, 2021 WL 5937152 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 15, 2021).  While different jurisdictions set varying thresholds for adequately alleging actual knowledge or bad faith, PLB Investments emphasizes the importance of analyzing these elements early on to determine whether a plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts on the pleadings.

On January 25, 2022, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) solicited commentary regarding its proposed rule that would create a time-limited pilot program to expand the ability of financial institutions to share Suspicious Activity Reports (“SARs”) and SAR-related information.  (See 31 U.S.C. § 5318(g)(8)).  The proposed program would permit a financial institution with a SAR reporting obligation to share, subject to certain specified limitations, SARs and related information with the institution’s foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates.  The proposed rule would expand on previous guidance FinCEN issued in 2006 and 2010 regarding SAR sharing within organizations.

Francisco Partners will acquire data and analytics assets from IBM that are currently part of its Watson Health business, according to a news release.

Assets that will be acquired by Francisco Partners reportedly include Health Insights, MarketScan, Clinical Development, Social Program Management, Micromedex and imaging software offerings.

Francisco Partners, with its U.S. headquarters

Nautic Partners has made a strategic growth investment in SPS Health, according to a news release.

SPS, based in Milwaukee, offers a portfolio of solutions, including formulary management, on-demand pharmacy and benefit administration, to pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers. Services are provided through SPS’s three companies: LithiaRx, Trinity Healthcare Solutions and StatimRx.

Nautic

Great Point Partners (GPP) has acquired Performance Cell Manufacturing (PCM), according to a news release.

PCM, based in San Diego and founded in 2002, is a contract development and manufacturing organization of cell therapy products for biopharmaceutical companies.

As part of the transaction, PCM is changing its name to Cellipont Bioservices.

GPP,

This week in Washington: Supreme Court Rules on Biden Administration Vaccine Mandates

House
House Democrats Introduce Bill to Increase Access to At-Home COVID-19 Tests

On Jan. 12, Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Joe Morelle (D-NY) and Kaiali’i Kahele (D-HI) introduced the Free At-Home Tests for All Act. The bill would require the Department

As the crisis on the Ukrainian border persists, companies with exposure to Russian markets and counterparties are being forced to reckon with the possibility that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could result in imposition of the most serious economic and trade sanctions ever imposed on Russia.  Such sanctions are being openly discussed and debated politically, and are the clearly preferred first response to any aggressive military moves Russia might make to cross the Ukrainian border in locations where Russian military assets have been staged over the last several weeks.  While obviously preferable to a global military conflict, efforts to sanction Russia to a level sufficient to reverse an incursion into Ukraine will have significant ripple effects throughout numerous industries and with numerous significant multinational organizations.