Andy Powers – Friend of Danny Boice & Fellow Criminal
On March 16, 2018, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s State Corporation Commision (SCC) filed against Andrew Brent Powers (AKA Andy Powers) and his company Comunniclique (DBA CliqueAPI) alleging multiple violations of the Virginia Securities Act. On July 13 of that year, the courts found Andy Powers guilty of 108 violations of the Act. Powers was also was found guilty of failing to respond to a subpoena. That basically means he’s on the run and did not appear to defend himself.
Originally CliqueAPI and Powers mounted an aggressive defense and then in April, Power’s Attornies, The Aegis Law Group, filed (see filing) that they were withdrawing from counsel on this case. Did Powers run out of money to pay for representation or were his attorney’s alarmed that he was not acting in good faith? It seems like from that time, Andy was non-responsive to the case.
According to court records, Tom Bayly, a senior investigator with the SCC, Division of Securities and Retail Franchising testified that the Division received a complaint in the fall of 2016 from the accountant of one of CommuniClique’s (AKA Clique and Clique API) investors regarding several irregularities. Subsequent investigations found that Powers was reporting to prospective and existing investors in CommuniClique, that the company had revenues of $71.5 million in 2014 growing to $122 million in 2015. Andy Powers provided valuation data to investors from an independent third party firm valuing CommiClique at $850 million in 2016.
The State was alarmed by several red flags. Investors complained of a lack of audited books (kind of like Trustify). The state made multiple requests to the company seeking accounting documents to which the company failed to comply.
The State subpoenaed records from the company’s banks, Bank of America and Silicon Valley Bank. They found no record of the company having any accounts with Silicon Valley Bank. The state spoke with the President of the advisory firm that Powers asserted had judged the company to be valued at nearly a billion dollars. The advisory firm executive stated his company never performed a valuation analysis of CommuniClique.
According to court records:
Mr. Bayly, the account information provided by Bank of America reflected significantly lower revenues than the revenue information provided by the Defendants to potential investors. In addition, he compared investor proceeds from 2015 ($2.7 million) to the Defendants’ total 2015 Bank of America deposits ($5.6 million) and investor proceeds from 2016 ($4.1 million) to the Defendants’ total 2016 Bank of America deposits ($5.8 million).15 He also indicated that the Bank of America records did not reflect payments made by any of the customers referenced by CommuniClique to investors. Furthermore, despite the Defendants’ representation to the Division that they ceased attempting to raise capital after 2016, Mr. Bayly identified information in the Bank of America records showing additional investors throughout 2017 and into 2018. He was unable to identify any other bank having an accounts.
The State’s conclusion was that the company had no customers or revenue and that Powers intentionally provided fraudulent information to investors. The court granted the Commonwealth of Virginia’s request to recover nearly $10 million.
The following are the findings and recommendations of the court.
Based upon the evidence presented and for the reasons explained above, I find that:
- The Defendants committed at least 108 violations of the Act;
- The Defendants violated § 12.1-13 of the Code by failing to comply with a Commission subpoena;
- The Defendants should be assessed the maximum civil penalty of $10,000 for each violation of the Act and an additional civil penalty of $10,000 for failing to comply with
the Commission’s subpoena; (that’s $10,000 times 108 violations or $1,080,000)
- The Defendants should be required to make restitution totaling $9,890,293 to the investors identified by the Division;
- The Defendants should be permanently enjoined from offering and selling securities in and from the Commonwealth of Virginia and from engaging other agents or affiliates to
offer and sell securities in and from the Commonwealth of Virginia on their behalf; and
- The Defendants should be required the pay the costs of the Division’s investigation totaling $10,000.
What does this mean? This means that Andy Powers is a crook. What else? Andy Powers and Danny Boice have been business associates for a long time. Along with Alex Petty, Danny and Andy founded CommuniClique in 2006 (See Washington Business Journal Article). An existing CommuniClique web page lists Boice along with Powers as two members of the team. This court case alleges that the stock sales began in 2006 when Danny was a principal in the firm.
Danny Boice’s Buddy, Andy Powers is prominently featured in the College Board Manifesto, an indictment of the character of both of these crooks. The manifesto alleges Danny Boice, while employed at The College Board, used his position hire Andy Powers as a contractor to do work for the Board. The manufesto alleges thtat Andy did not one iota (wtf is an iota) of work for the College Board. Instead, Boice and Powers used the cash funneled to Andy to work on Communiclique, a company that Boice and Powers jointly owned. The memo alleges that Powers did no work for the College Board, never stepped foot in the company. The entire contract defrauded The College Board to enrich Danny and Andy. College board has a credible claim on the IP that is CliqueAPI.
The Washington Business Journal reports that Andy Powers is an investor in Trustify. Perhaps the state should investigate if the money Powers used to invest in Dumpster Fire Trustify came from the investors he defrauded. Imagine using the money you defrauded from investors to invest in a fraudulent company like Trustify. According to Angel List Powers is an investor in Speek, a company co-founded by Danny Boice that based its technology on the Comunniclique (sometimes referred to as Clique or Clique API)?
Why are there so many names for Communiclique? Blame it on Google. Conmen frequently change the names of things to avoid their history of malfecience being revealed. It’s harder to hit a moving target.
I don’t want the crack DTech “Journalists” to worry that they were asleep at the wheel on this story. Even the supposed Silicon Valley professional “Journalists” are clueless when it comes to quality. For instance, Red Herring named the crooks at CliqueAPI a, “2018 Red Herring Top 100 North America Winner.” These guys are as lost as Technically.DC and DCInno. Even the Washington Business Journal’s Andy Medici missed the boat on these clowns.
According to Powers Angel List profile, he’s an investor in several DC Companies, some of them like Sworkit and Contactually are good companies. Many like Speek, Brain Sentry, Armor Text, Disruption, and LifeFuels are or were problematic.
Powers has a history of being associated with disreputable companies. He’s listed as a partner in a questionable venture known as the Sabotage Institute (see LinkedIn screen capture above and Sabotage web screen capture below). Sabotage Institute is featured in my April 2017 report on Pretangels. Andy Power’s profiles on the web list him as a co-founder and current partner in Sabotage Institute. Tim Lee, a partner in Sabotage (Tim is also an Advisor in CommuniClique) and Erik Logerquist are the other listed partners in this unfortunately named enterprise. In a conversation on July 25th, Tim Lee told me that Andy is an Advisor and not a Partner. Tim further went on to say he is unable to comment on any other issues relating to Andy’s involvement in Sabotage or what is taking place at CommuniClique due to nondisclosure agreements. Despite Tim’s Lee’s assertion that Andy is not a partner or actively involved, the evidence does not seem to support Tim’s story. In addition to Tim’s relationship, existent or nonexistent, Lee is also featured in a January SEC filing, in which Powers reported CommuniClique sold nearly $20 million in equity (see filing). The filing lists Tim Lee is as an executive officer of Communiclique.
Andy Powers and Danny Boice seem to be birds of a feather. Andy Powers qualifies as a Wolf of Startupland.
Also, there is the shadowy relationship with CliqueAPI Chairman, Ram Reddy, how does he explain that these crimes were being committed under his board stewardship without his knowledge? Ram… you have some explaining to do. Today as I write this update, October 12, 2018, Reddy is still the chairman and has made no effort to disassociate from the company. Is he a criminal and/or an idiot? As Chairman, he implicitly if not explicitly signed off on this fraudulent CommuniClique 2016 EOY Shareholder Report.
UPDATE: July 7, 2018 – The article was updated to reflect a discussion with Tim Lee of Sabotage Institute