New York--The Securities and Exchange Commission said it is now “necessary and appropriate” to institute a public administrative proceeding against Lazare Kaplan that could result in the revocation of its registration under the Exchange Act, the diamond manufacturer revealed in a Form 8-K filed Dec. 21.

The revocation would prohibit the buying or selling of the publicly traded company’s securities.

New York-based Lazare Kaplan hasn’t filed any quarterly or yearly earnings reports since 2009, citing “material uncertainties” involving recovery of assets and its credit obligations due to its ongoing $500 million legal battle with its former lender, the now-defunct Antwerp Diamond Bank, and ADB parent company KBC. 

The lawsuit alleges that the banks laundered money and engaged in other illegal activity, including the theft of more than $135 million in diamond sales from Lazare Kaplan. 

In response to the SEC’s Dec. 21 order, Lazare Kaplan argued for the proceeding to be dismissed entirely or, at least, trading in its securities suspended for a year instead of being axed entirely. 

Given that the company is working to resolve its “material uncertainties,” the 12-month suspension “is the remedy that best serves the interests of the company and its shareholders,” Lazare Kaplan stated in the 8-K. 

The diamond manufacturer said it hopes to resolve its uncertainties within the next 12 months, though the company noted that the resolution will not come before April 9, 2016, the date that a judge is expected to issue an initial decision about the proceeding. 


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