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7th Circuit affirms in questionable merger case

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The judges of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals took a plaintiff to task for filing a frivolous appeal and evading regulations of the Securities Act of 1933.

In MAS Capital Inc. v. Biodelivery Sciences International Inc., No. 07-3138, the appellate court affirmed the U.S. District Court grant of summary judgment in favor of Biodelivery on MAS Capital's suit to collect what it claims is due for services rendered to Biodelivery. But the judges have issues with those services MAS Capital provided, which essentially were designed to evade the requirements the Securities Act imposes on companies that go public.

MAS Capital incorporated a shell company, MAS Acquisition XXIII - which it represented as having tradable securities - and arranged for Biodelivery to merge with the shell company. The newly merged company changed its name to Biodelivery Sciences International and now had stock that could be bought or sold.

Because this process is illegal, the SEC has started proceedings against MAS Capital and its president and sole director, Aaron Tsai. The SEC required Tsai to sell any stock and options he issued, which he did. He also signed a release that states neither he nor MAS Capital have any right to compensation from Biodelivery.

MAS Capital filed this suit against Biodelivery to try and collect additional compensation. In order to get around that release, MAS Capital claimed some of its services were in fact performed by MAS Financial. Because MAS Financial and Tsai didn't sign the release in his capacity as an agent for MAS Financial, Tsai asserted that a merger occurred between the two companies and MAS is the surviving firm. Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote that neither the District judge nor the 7th Circuit judges are amused by Tsai's actions.

"Tsai and his corporations take the law, and their promises, entirely too lightly. Tsai himself performed the services; any claim that MAS Financial (and thus MAS Capital) may have is derivative of his endeavors, and he has released any claim," wrote the judge.

The 7th Circuit is going to send copies of this opinion to the SEC and NASDAQ for their ongoing administrative proceedings against Tsai and his companies. The appellate court also directed MAS Capital to show cause within 14 days why the court shouldn't impose sanctions for filing a frivolous appeal.

Also within this case is the issue of how 28 U.S.C. 1332 treats domestic corporations with principal places of business outside of the U.S. Biodelivery removed the suit from state court to federal court. Biodelivery is incorporated in Delaware, but its principal place of business is New Jersey. Biodelivery thought MAS Capital was both incorporated and had a principal place of business in Indiana. However, it turns out MAS Capital was incorporated in Nevada but had its principal place of business in Taiwan. Although the 7th Circuit never addressed this issue of having incorporation in the U.S. but principal business in another country, other circuits have ruled that the foreign place of business does not count, so jurisdiction is proper under Section 1332 (a)(1), and MAS Capital will be treated in the suit as a citizen of Nevada alone.

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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