'Digital human' hologram maker Pulse Evolution wins order quashing investor info subpoenas in fraud suit

By Florida Record | Apr 17, 2019

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JACKSONVILLE — A Florida federal judge has rejected a bid by a Jacksonville chiropractor to force the company behind the 2014 Michael Jackson hologram performance and other "hyper-realistic digital humans," to turn over a litany of investor information and other documents amid a securities fraud lawsuit.

According to the April 8, court filing, the defendants, Pulse Evolution Corporation, asked Magistrate Judge Monte Richardson, of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida for an order staying third-party discovery and to quash subpoenas in a lawsuit filed by plaintiff Scott Meide, a Jacksonville chiropractor and investor in Pulse.  

Meide filed a seven-count complaint against Pulse, which is now known as Recall Studios, and its officers in August of 2018, and asked for a grand jury to be convened. Meide also claims securities fraud, aiding and abetting, breach of good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and civil conspiracy. 

Pulse asked the court to prohibit Meide from getting information through subpoenas that includes "confidential commercial" information they asserted Meide had "threatened to use" as a way to "harass non-party investors" of Pulse.  

Through the subpoenas, Meide requested a list of names, addresses and phone numbers of all investors in Pulse as well as its independent corporate entities, known as V Stock and Island Transfer. Meide also requested the amount and when the investments were made.  

Pulse claimed they would "suffer irreparable harm" if plaintiff obtained the "sensitive" information regarding their shareholders, especially since Meide stated he would contact those investors regarding his complaint against Pulse. 

Judge Richardson concluded it was "appropriate to quash plaintiff's subpoenas" based on federal rules of civil procedure and agreed to enter a protective order that prohibits Meide from obtaining and using the information requested in his subpoenas. 

The court also granted Pulse's request for an order temporarily staying "third-party discovery" and denied Pulse's request for attorneys' fees and costs and stated an "award of expenses" is "unjust."

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