Commitments and Contingencies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2017
|Commitments and Contingencies [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||
Note 15—Commitments and Contingencies
Licensing agreements. On April 22, 2014, we entered into an agreement with RDOC to settle certain claims we had against RDOC, Robert Kiyosaki, and Darren Weeks arising out of RDOC’s, Kiyosaki’s, and Weeks’s promotion of a series of live seminars and related products known as Rich Dad:GEO that we alleged infringed on our exclusive rights under the 2013 License Agreement between the Company and RDOC (the “GEO Settlement Agreement”). In the GEO Settlement Agreement, RDOC, Kiyosaki, and Weeks agreed to terminate any further activity in furtherance of the Rich Dad:GEO program. In addition, RDOC agreed, among other things, to (i) amend the 2013 License Agreement to halve the royalty payable by us to RDOC to 2.5% for the whole of 2014, (ii) cancelled approximately $1.3 million in debt owed by us to RDOC, and (iii) reimburse us for the legal fees we incurred in the matter. In addition, RDOC’s right to appoint one member of our Board of Directors previously continued under the 2013 License Agreement was cancelled.
The 2013 License Agreement and the GEO Settlement Agreement were assigned to our wholly owned subsidiary, Legacy Education Alliance Holdings, Inc. on September 10, 2014.
On January 25, 2018, we entered into a Material Definitive Agreement that resulted in a Second Amendment with RDOC (the “Second Amendment”) that amends certain terms of the 2013 License Agreement and extends the term of the 2013 License Agreement to September 1, 2019. In addition, the Company and two of its officers, and RDOC and certain individuals affiliated with RDOC entered into a Mutual Waiver and Release of Claims. (See the Form 8-K filed on January 29, 2018 for further details.)
We are committed to pay royalties for the usage of certain brands, as governed by various licensing agreements, including Rich Dad, Robbie Fowler and Martin Roberts. Total royalty expenses included in our Consolidated Statement of Operations and Comprehensive Income for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 were $4.7 million and $4.3 million, respectively.
Operating leases. We lease office space for administrative and training requirements. These leases expire through February 2019 and some of them have renewal options and purchase options. In addition, certain office space leases provide for rent adjustment increases. The accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income reflect rent expense on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease.
Rent expense for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 was approximately $1.1 million and $0.8 million, respectively. Except for a condominium lease with our Chief Executive Officer, there are no other related party leases.
At December 31, 2017, future remaining minimum lease commitments for all non-cancelable operating leases are as follows (in thousands):
Purchase commitments. From time to time, the Company enters into non-cancelable commitments to purchase professional services, Information Technology licenses and support, and training courses in future periods. The amounts of these non-cancelable commitments made by the Company at December 31, 2016 were approximately $0.7 million. There were no purchase commitments made by the Company at December 31, 2017.
Custodial and Counterparty Risk. The Company is subject to custodial and other potential forms of counterparty risk in respect of a variety of contractual and operational matters. In the course of ongoing company-wide risk assessment, management monitors the Company arrangements that involve potential counterparty risk, including the custodial risk associated with amounts prepaid to certain vendors and deposits with credit card and other payment processors. Deposits held by our credit card processors at December 31, 2017 and 2016 were $2.8 million and $3.1 million, respectively. These balances are included on the Consolidated Balance Sheets in restricted cash in 2017 and 2016. While these balances reside in major financial institutions, they are only partially covered by federal deposit insurance and are subject to the financial risk of the parties holding these funds. When appropriate, we utilize Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (CDARS) to reduce banking risk for a portion of our cash in the United States. A CDAR consists of numerous individual investments, all below the FDIC limits, thus fully insuring that portion of our cash. At December 31, 2017 and 2016, we did not have a CDAR balance.
Litigation. Tigrent Group Inc., Rich Dad Education, LLC, and Tigrent Enterprises Inc. v. Cynergy Holding, LLC, Bank of America, N.A., BA Merchant Services, LLC, BMO Harris Bank, N.A. and Moneris Solutions Corporation, was originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (No. 13 Civ. 03708) on June 28, 2013, but, due to a challenge to federal jurisdiction, was subsequently recommenced in the Supreme Court of New York, County of Queens (No. 703951/2013), on September 19, 2013.
On November 1, 2017, we announced we would receive an aggregate sum of Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000.00) to settle litigation brought to recover funds withheld from it in connection with the processing of credit card sales from 2007 through 2011. Under the terms of the settlement agreement entered into on October 31, 2017, Legacy has since received $5 million from Cynergy Holdings, LLC, Bank of America, N.A., BA Merchant Services, LLC, BMO Harris Bank, N.A., and Moneris Solutions, Inc. (“Defendants”). As part of the settlement, Legacy has agreed to dismiss the litigation currently pending in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Queens without admission of wrongdoing on the part of any party. After accounting for outstanding legal fees, the net amount Legacy received from the settlement was $4,332,798. For more information on the terms of the settlement, please refer to the Current Report on Form 8-K filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 1, 2017. A copy of the Form 8-K is available on the Company’s website at (http://ir.legacyeducationalliance.com/all-sec-filings).
Tigrent Group Inc. v. Process America, Inc., Case No 1:12-cv-01314-RLM, filed March 16, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. In this case we sought the return of the $8.3 million credit card merchant reserve account deposit held by Process America, a so-called “Independent Sales Organization” that places merchants with credit card processors. On November 12, 2012, PA filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (“Bankruptcy Court.”) On December 3, 2012, the Bankruptcy Court obtained jurisdiction of our dispute with PA. On June 21, 2013, the Tigrent Group filed its proof of claim with Bankruptcy Court in the amount of $8.3 million, which claim has not been ruled on by the Court.
Watson v. Whitney Education Group, Inc. Russ Whitney, United Mortgage Corporation, Gulfstream Realty and Development, Inc. Douglas Realty, Inc. and Paradise Title Services, Inc., first filed September 21, 2007 in the in 20th Judicial Circuit, Lee County, FL, Case No. 07-CA-011207; Huron River Area Credit Union v. Jeffrey Watson/ Watson v. Whitney Education Group, Inc. and Russell Whitney, Case No. 2008-CA-5870-NC; and Huron River Area Credit Union v. Jeffrey Watson/ Watson v. Whitney Education Group, Inc. and Russell Whitney, Case No. 2008-CA-5877-NC, both filed June 6, 2008 in the 12th Judicial Circuit, Sarasota County, FL Civil Division. In these related cases, Jeffrey Watson (“Watson”) alleged against a subsidiary of the Company causes of action based upon losses Watson alleges he incurred as the result of his purchase of real property from Gulfstream Realty and Development, an entity affiliated with Mr. Whitney, and with whom we had a student referral agreement. On February 6, 2017, we entered into a Settlement Agreement and General Release whereby all claims against the Company and Mr. Whitney were fully and finally settled and released, and all three cases dismissed with prejudice without any admission of wrongdoing in exchange for the payment of $30,000 by the Company to the Plaintiff. On February 6, 2017, we entered into a Settlement Agreement and General Release whereby all claims against the Company and Mr. Whitney were fully and finally settled and released, and all three cases dismissed with prejudice without any admission of wrongdoing in exchange for the payment of $30,000 by the Company to the Plaintiff.
We are involved from time to time in routine legal matters incidental to our business, including disputes with students and requests from state regulatory agencies. Based upon available information, we believe that the resolution of such matters will not have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef