Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Lawyers & Their Money

Several prominent Mississippi plaintiff's attorneys are engaged in a scrum over millions of dollars of their money invested in a California technology company.   Attorney Shane Langston sued Adara Networks, Inc., Eric Johnson and James Scott in Hinds County Chancery Court on May 10, for an accounting of all Adara Networks, Inc. corporate funds.   Mr. Langston claims Adara solicited and sold shares to Mississippi attorneys for nearly twenty years.  However, money was apparently invested without first checking the books.
Mr. Langston currently lives in Dallas, but formerly resided in Jackson.  Mr. Johnson is the CEO and sole director of Adara. He lives in Florida.  Adara is in San Jose, California. Mr. Scott is a former director of Adara and is "believed" to live in Florida. 

  The complaint states:

For approximately twenty years or more, Mississippi investors have provided tens of millions (perhaps over $100 million) of capital to Adara. Further, Adara has received tens of millions of dollars in revenues. For years and years and years, in violation of Florida corporate law, Adara failed to account for these investments and revenues. In violation of Florida corporate law, virtually no shareholder meetings were held, and no financials were provided to the shareholders. There was no accountability.

From time to time over the years, Plaintiff and other investors asked Adara for some accounting. Each time, such inquiries were discouraged on grounds that a merger or buyout was imminent and such disclosures would adversely impact the negotiations. Often, following such inquiries, a "press release" would be published consistent with the "buyout" claims and consistent with Adara's claims that it had IT patents and technology that was generating and/or would be generating millions and millions in revenues.

Frustrated to no end, Plaintiff and other investors (including Lance Stevens, Esq., Roderick Ward, Esq., Christopher Jones, CPA, Joe Roberts, Esq., Vic Welch, Esq., and Ed Welch) on January 24, 2018, demanded the financial disclosure required of Adara under Florida corporate law. (See 1.24.18 Demand attached hereto as Exhibit A.)

On or about April 9, 2018, i.e., several months after the deadline set forth under Florida law, Adara responded by producing documents to its outside counsel Walter Weems, Esq., at the offices of Brunini, The Pinnacle Bld., Ste. 100, 190 E. Capital St., Jackson, Mississippi 30201. The response was wholly incomplete. Plaintiff and the other shareholders followed up and requested full compliance and production. The requests were ignored.

Mr. Langston claims  Ken Primos asked him to invest in Adara in 2002.  The lawyer bought one million shares of stock for $500,000.   Adara "rarely, if ever" held a stockholders meeting nor did it provide financials.  Mr. Langston stated whenever he or anyone else asked for the required financial disclosures, the CEO would have Mr. Primos or Crymes Pittman, Sr., tell Mr. Langston that the company was on the verge of completing a business deal that would bring "tens of millions of dollars in revenues" and that disclosure of the financial statements (to the shareholders) would "jeopardize" the deal.  He was eventually warned that some investors could not be trusted  with company financial information.   Mr. Langston questioned why the company lost $8 million in 2009 while earning "less than $500,000 in revenues" in an email sent to Mr. Johnson in 2011.



Johnson did not answer the letter, but the plaintiff claims Ken Primos assured him the company was sound and "was on the cusp of delivering" that huge return the shareholders were promised.  Mr. Primos talked Mr. Langston into investing another $250,000 in Adara in 2012.  Mr. Langston said he still had not seen any financial statements.  Mr. Langston tried in 2014 to obtain the financial statements but Adara's lawyer, Walter Weems (Brunini Law Firm),  said that doing so would require Adara to provide those statements to the rest of the shareholders.  Mr. Langston tried to see the statements a year later but Mr. Primos pointedly told Plaintiff  that the production of such data "could be a distraction that will  depreciate your investment."  Similarly, Mr.  Pittman warned Plaintiff that "you are about to cost you  and  all of  us a lot."  Plaintiff heeded  the warnings and  again backed off his demand for  disclosure of  financial data.  Mr. Langston made it clear he had had enough in this email he sent to Ken Primos in 2015.



Mr. Langston even offered to visit the office to inspect the books so that no confidential documents were leaked but to no avail. However, attorney Crymes Pittman told Mr. Langston to "cool it" in a 2015 email that was sent in response to his demands to see the financial statements:
Shane, you are about to cost you and all of us a lot. Cool it.
Adara eventually provided a document for them to review through Mr. Weems.  However, Mr. Langston says that the information was "inadequate and incomplete."  He demanded in April that Adara provide tax returns, audit reports, a list of shareholders, employment contracts of corporate officers, and income statements since 2012.

The complaint asked the court to order Adara to provide all corporate minutes, all financial statements, a list of all past and present shareholders, all contracts, all tax returns, all audits, and other information (p.8).    Mr. Langston also asked the court to permit a limited amount of discovery.

Mr. Langston is representing himself with assistance from attorney Greta Martin. The case is assigned to Chancellor Patricia Wise. 





50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Has Dilbert Hoseman EVER investigated anything? Completely useless as a member of a leadership team. Most SOS have a prosecution assistance team or something. Wonder how long until Doofbert says he wants to get involved on the back end of this one as well.....nah, he's too busy aligning himself with popular characters around the state that he has nothing to do with.

Anonymous said...


WHAT GOES AROUND----COMES AROUND !!!!

Sammy Sarcasm said...

Maybe they should consider investing in timber, or maybe even manhole covers.

Anonymous said...

When you lay down with dogs....

Anonymous said...

To the first commenter and others whining Delbert has not "investigated" enough: what is his basis for an investigation? If no one complains or provides a tip, how is he or his office supposed to know what is going on? Is he to audit the books of every entity soliciting investments from MS residents?

The securities division has no law enforcement authority, and no real way to act unless someone complains or tips them off. These aren't speeding tickets. You can't set up and watch what people are doing. So how, exactly, is he or anyone supposed to know there is something in need of investigation?

Anonymous said...

This one has some real promise. Some south Florida cool breeze artists, one of them there innernet.com next big thangs, and a pack of Mississippi Plaintiff's lawyers pissing all over the wingtips at Brunini...get the popcorn popped, kids, it's at least a double-feature. Anyone have any info on how these guys and Brunini found each other?

Anonymous said...

Karma.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the casual attitude of these tort attorneys about investing in such a venture, as well as the failure to "man up" and demand annual accountings, can best be explained by the fact that so much of their money came from bilking insurance companies for years with specious allegations in suits whose only merit was the terrible venue the cases were filed in. These law suits were the type that lead to the Chamber of Commerce labeling Mississippi as a "Tort Hell". When you don’t earn something, it doesn’t have as much value. I am laughing out loud at these guys.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody of wealth in the metro area every done a thing besides 1) inherit, 2) go work for dad 3) dabble in schemes and frauds or 4) be a lawyer and quickly drift into government influenced opportunities?

If you read the news, I think not.

Anonymous said...

NB - 2 minutes of DD discovered that 1 million shares at $500K puts the value of the company at $125,000,000.00. I am going to guess that the decimal point is badly misplaced. I'm sure the SEC can just add a few more rooms to the reservation at the Hilton. Geez, what does a Ole Miss JD require, fogging up a mirror?

Anonymous said...

Checked out the Adara website. It looks like a project from an 8th grade computer science class.

Here is an interesting Al Gore-esque claim from Adara's "About Us" page (emphasis mine):

"The company employs scientists, engineers, consultants, subject-matter experts, current and former leaders, and sales professionals from major industries, companies, and government entities across four continents. ADARA NETWORKS SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, AND FOUNDERS HAVE INVENTED THE TECHNOLOGY RELIED UPON BY 95% OF THE WORLD’S ENTERPRISES AND END USERS, AND OF THE INTERNET ITSELF."

Anonymous said...

Some [by no means exhaustive] internet research turned up no information about any venture capital or private equity investments in Adara Networks. If a tech company has been around for 16 years and failed to attract any institutional investors, it's probably going nowhere.

Sorry, Mr. Langston, but it looks like you bought the proverbial pig in a poke with this one.

Anonymous said...

This deal seems hauntingly familiar, i.e., Samarion.

Anonymous said...

Their office is literally within walking distance of the San Jose airport. Langston should have just made an appearance long ago.

Anonymous said...

May 23 @ 11.09 AM

To answer your question:

- Lampton family: Ergon
- Creekmores: C-Spire
- Leland Speed: Eastgroup and Parkway Properties
- John Palmer: MobileCom and SkyTel
- Neil Newcomb: Newk's
- Billy Mounger/EB Martin: Suncom
- Buddy McClain: McLain Sonics
- Irby family: Irby Electric and Irby Construction
- Joel Bomgar: Bomgar
- Tom Hixon: First Choice Medical Supply and Gulf South Medical Supply

Among others.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh - 5/23 @ 11.45 AM

Invoking Samarion! Well-played.

Anonymous said...

To May 23, 2018 at 11:09 AM:

Well, now, that is just plain unfair. There must be numerous dope dealers that have made a fair amount of money. Granted, you aren't likely to find them at certain clubs and soirées, but they probably aren't getting pestered to invest in timber and dot.com shore thangs, either.

Anonymous said...

Any grifter worth a damn should be beating a path to the Mississippi Bar Association for a list of easy marks.

"Hello, Mr. Gondorff. Welcome to the Jackson offices of Patsy, Sucker, & Chump. Our partners have looked over your proposal for a seaside resort in Des Moines with a guaranteed 17% annual return and are ready to invest now.

Right now.

Today.

Immediately!

SHUT UP AND TAKE OUR MONEY!!!!"

Anonymous said...

@11:09 looks like you are commenting a bit early before your lunch break at whatever retail outlet you work for. Let me guess, cashier? Stock boy? Or maybe even clerical assistant? All of which are necessary and admirable traits for those who recently entered the work force.

Anonymous said...

I'll give you McClain, Hixon and Bomgar. Many of the others on that list fall under category 1 or 2....they didn't make it. None of the current day Lamptons or Creekmores grew up wanting for anything. Nor Palmer.

I'll give them credit for making the best of what was given to them, but many on that lists proves the original point. Leland Speed?

Anonymous said...

"A fool and his money are soon parted." Not like they earned it anyway.

Anonymous said...


You forgot to add Buster Bailey to the list along with his brother Bill and sister Kathy. None have ever made a living on their own---it's always been money from Daddy or from foolish investors. All three siblings should be working at Kroger.

Kingfish said...

Mr. Speed started two companies that made it to the stock exchange but yeah, ok shamus.

Anonymous said...

agree on leland....to a degree (he built it bigger)....his dad owned tons of land that is now eastover and leftover and was very wealthy. leland simply stood on dad's shoulders and got a better cookie jar.

Anonymous said...

Who. Invests. Without. Due. Dilligence?

What company with investors runs around without audited financial statements?

I’m flabbergasted!

Anonymous said...

Wait, you mean the ability to rant and rave about the evil corporations to a Jefferson County jury doesn't make one an investment genius? Who knew?

Anonymous said...

Hard to cheat an honest man.

Anonymous said...

Good reporting KF!

Will be interesting to see how many perpetual fund raising schemes come to light in our area now that the Adams scam has been exposed. Years ago there was a local guy pitching a deal in China, and I remember wondering how one is supposed to do due diligence on a company so far away. Seemed like the money raise could go on forever. Pretty sure that guy/the pitcher went to jail.

Anonymous said...

I actually see 11.09's point: If you read/listen to the local press, you would certainly get the impression that Jackson and surrounding is full of sycophants and hangers-on, at best, and crooks at worst.

However, I believe that we should put a finer point on the distinction between the above and those who have been productive - either self-made or otherwise. I agree that it is much easier to take a risk when you have significant family wealth as a back stop, but I would argue that anyone on the list @ 11.48 belongs in a very different category than the lawyers, shysters and trust-fund babies running around the CCJ and River Hills "doing deals." What the Creekmores, the Lamptons, Leland Speed have built is far bigger and more valuable than what they inherited. They didn't use "daddy's money" to fund an entitled, lazy lifestyle. They created jobs and wealth - and in some cases the wealth they created benefited other investors/shareholders, not just their own families.

Anonymous said...

This is 11.48 again:

Correction: It is Neil Newcomb's brother, Chris, that helped build and now runs Newk's.

And, yes, their dad was a wealthy dentist who started and sold McAlisters, but Chris has still done the hard work to build another successful company.

Anonymous said...

Ole Miss can take Crymes' name off the dorm now. What is it with these people being duped? If the "Smart" folks are this stupid, no wonder we are rated last in every meaningful metric.

Madison Rulz said...

My investment in the Bonanza Steakhouse in Madison has been great.

Anonymous said...

this is a test

Anonymous said...

Has anyone gotten money back from horizontally-drilled oil wells? Asking for a friend.

Anonymous said...

Who. Invests. Without. Due. Dilligence?

Apparently a f*ckton of Mississippi attorneys do.

Anonymous said...

most of the spoiled ass little bitch punks with whom i was raised don't do shit but shut up, listen to daddy, and cash checks. they haven't built or elevated shit. name one who is not over 50 who has ever done anything on their own. they are all a bunch of sniveling pussies who couldn't survive a week outside of daddy's circle. we are now on generation 3 and 4 of these panty waste leeches. the stuart irby sr's and jr's (the stuart of the scandals was stuart m, not III), the jimmy fowlers, the gus primos, etc. are long gone. they build the city and the wealth of jackson. their worthless spawn just live off of it....several even becoming bigger leeches as lawyers (so they can be smart enough to figure out all of their investments with daddy's money....ha). I wonder if jackson's downward spiral has anything to do with the fact that so many of her wealthiest are titty babies who don't have motivation to do anything, because daddy has always done it and they just sit back and reap the benefits.

and no....jealously is lost on me (not in my nature). just making sure those on the daddy welfare plan always remember that they don't measure up to the people they look down upon. we know it. they know it. just reminding them.

Anonymous said...

So there are TWO $100 million scams going on at the same time in Jackson?

Anonymous said...

Oh what a summer 2018 promises to be --- how much better can it get? Yes, a lackluster political campaign has kept the popcorn sales depressed but the industry is getting bolstered by everyone's favorite profession: Barristers, those practicing law.

First) A high school graduate screws a lot of his high flying attorney friends out of their investment savings, and to put a little whip cream on the top does so with the assistance of some of their colleagues.

Then second) A lawyer screws a bunch of his fellow lawyers out of a s**tpot full of their ill-founded gains (taken of course from the hands of the big bad corporations of the world in hellhole jurisdictions) by convincing them to 'invest' with him into some scheme. And when questioned, their lawyer colleagues and partners in the earlier crimes tell them its all ok - sit tight, better to come. And then lawyers have to start suing lawyers about lawyers lying to lawyers.

Then today) Two of the Delta's barristers duking it out in the MS Court of Appeals (2017-CP-00225-COA Willie J. Perkins, Sr. v. James K. Littleton) that one of them defamed the other - and here the whipped cream on top was that the defamee was also a politician. (Well, actually the accused defamer was also a politician since he was running for office at the time but the defamee is one of our fine legislators.) According to the testimony in the COA by the claimed defamee, "it was fawse! And he knew it be totally fawse. And defammetor. And it was di-rected at me. And we can't forget, it was fawse."

Granted, it was a statement made during a cam-pane but that shouldn't change the fact that it was fawse.

Its only still springtime. Can the summer be any better?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
So there are TWO $100 million scams going on at the same time in Jackson?

May 23, 2018 at 5:41 PM



No @ 5:41 PM. Just the two going on at the same time in Jackson that have been exposed.

Posted for a friend (seriously).

Popcorn chef said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
So there are TWO $100 million scams going on at the same time in Jackson?

May 23, 2018 at 5:41 PM

It's only May. Keep your popcorn handy.

Anonymous said...

Hughes, stop posting to complain about Delbert. You can read this company is in California and the principals live in TX & FL.

Parade of (Lawyers') Homes.. said...

Y'all hold my seat. I'm finna ride out North Old Canton to see the flowers at John Arthur, Jr's place. Daffodils ain't cheap.

Anonymous said...

I bet John Grisham is typing away....

Anonymous said...

So Ken and Crymes, Sr. were trying to get Shane to pipe down, but I see several folks in Crymes, Sr.'s law firm are apparently on Shane's side. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

You JJ posters "Cool it!!!"

Don't you folks know anything? Investors should never ask for financials; just shut up and wait!

Anonymous said...

"Adara": Southern slang for "I Dare Ya"...to invest in this company.

Anonymous said...

One of the laziest, dumbest and all around useless low lifes in the metro area got fleeced in this. May he live under a bridge soon

Anonymous said...

Amazing how many 'smart' people threw hard earned, or inherited, money at this scheme! "If something sounds too good to be true..." And it sounds as though NO ONE did any DD. This is a prime example of pure greed! And the Langston fellow put in an additional $250K! Sorry, but they got what they deserved! What complete and total dumba$$es!!

Anonymous said...

Anyone follow 11:15’s logic on valuation. His/her math seems off any missing variables....

Anonymous said...

Business acumen and ill-gotten gains don't go together. Serves these crooks right.

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