• Filing Date: 2020-07-09
  • Form Type: 10-Q
  • Description: Quarterly report
v3.20.2
Commitments and Contingencies
6 Months Ended
May 31, 2020
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies
Commitments and Contingencies

Lease Agreements

Effective December 1, 2019, the Company adopted ASC 842, Leases, which requires lessees to recognize on the balance sheet at lease commencement, the lease assets and the related lease liabilities for the rights and obligations created by operating and finance leases with lease terms of more than 12 months. The lease term commences on the date the lessor makes the underlying property available, irrespective of when lease payment begins under the contract.

The Company leases office space under a lease that commenced on October 1, 2014. The lease expires on September 30, 2020. The annual base rent is $268,000, with a provision for a 3% increase on each anniversary of the rent commencement date.

Upon adoption, our lease liability was $203,000 and was calculated based on the present value of the minimum lease payments from December 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020, the lease expiration date, consisting of the base rent, provision for a 3% increase on each anniversary of the rent commencement date and our incremental borrowing rate applicable to the lease term. The interest rate used in our calculation is estimated and was derived using the interest rate we pay on our existing borrowings, adjusted for other factors which requires judgment by management. The lease liability is increased by accreted interest and reduced by the lease payment made by the Company on a monthly basis.

At May 31, 2020, the operating lease liability was $66,000 and is included under liabilities on the consolidated balance sheet.

The Company initially measured the right-of-use asset ("ROU asset" or "operating lease asset") at the initial measurement of the lease liability, adjusted for payments made before the commencement date and lease incentives received before the commencement date, which resulted in an initial ROU assets value of approximately $179,000.

At May 31, 2020, the operating lease asset was $72,000 and is included under assets on the consolidated balance sheet.

Over the lease term, the Company is required to amortize the ROU asset and record interest expense on the lease liability created at lease commencement. Operating lease expense was approximately $134,000 for the three months ended May 31, 2020 and $245,000 for the six months ended May 31, 2020. Rent expense was $114,000 for the three months ended May 31, 2019 and $228,000 for the six months ended May 31, 2019.


Sublease Agreement

During the eleven months ended November 30, 2018, the Company entered into a sublease agreement with a subtenant that commenced on October 1, 2018 and expires on September 15, 2020. The annual base rent of the subtenant is $78,000. On March 11, 2019, the sublease contract was amended to increase the square footage thereunder, hence increasing the annual base rent to $89,000.

The sublease did not relieve the Company of its primary obligation under the original lease. As a result, the Company will continue to account for the original lease as an operating lease independent of the sublease agreement, in terms of balance sheet presentation. Rental income is recognized on a monthly basis and was approximately $38,000 and $39,000, respectively, for the three months ended May 31, 2020 and three months ended May 31, 2019, respectively, $77,000 and $75,000, respectively, for the six months ended May 31, 2020 and six months ended May 31, 2019, respectively and is included as other income in the consolidated statement of operations.

Employment Agreements

The Company has entered into employment agreements with certain of its officers, including with its chief financial officer, whose agreement provides for payments in the event that the executive terminates her employment with the Company due to a material change in the geographic location where the chief financial officer performs her duties or upon a material diminution of her base salary or responsibilities, with or without cause (the "2018 Martinez Agreement"). If the Company terminates the 2018 Martinez Agreement without cause or she resigns with Good Reason (as defined in the 2018 Martinez Agreement), she will be entitled to receive her base salary or $352,229, whichever is greater, through the twelve (12) months following such termination (the "Martinez Severance Period") as well as any bonus earned but not yet paid. If Ms. Martinez resigns for good reason, she will also be entitled to have the Company continue to pay its portion of healthcare premiums for plans in which she is participating immediately prior to the termination through the Martinez Severance Period. If such termination or resignation occurs within two years after a change in control (as defined in the 2018 Martinez Agreement), then in lieu of receiving her base salary, Ms. Martinez would be entitled to receive (i) accrued vacation days, (ii) a lump sum payment equal to the sum of two times her then base salary, (iii) a portion of her bonus prorated through the termination date that would be due to her when bonus payments are otherwise made for the year in which the termination occurs, (iv) any unpaid portion of a bonus for the year preceding the termination, and (v) reimbursement of COBRA healthcare costs through the Martinez Severance Period.

On March 13, 2018, the Company entered into an employment agreement with Jack Simony (the "Simony Agreement"), pursuant to which Mr. Simony will continue to serve as Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of the Company. The term of the Simony Agreement commenced on March 13, 2018 and continues for one year, with automatic one-year extensions unless (x) either Mr. Simony or the Company gives written notice not to extend at least sixty (60) days’ prior to the end of the then-current term or (y) Mr. Simony’s employment is terminated in accordance with the terms of the Simony Agreement. Pursuant to the Simony Agreement, Mr. Simony will receive an annual base salary of $275,000.
 
The Simony Agreement further provides that Mr. Simony is entitled to participate in all benefit plans provided to executives of the Company. If the Company terminates Mr. Simony’s employment without cause or he resigns with Good Reason (as defined in the Simony Agreement), the Simony Agreement provides that he will be entitled to receive his base salary through the six (6) months following such termination (the "Simony Severance Period") as well as any incentive bonus that has been declared or awarded to him for a prior fiscal year but has not yet been paid. If Mr. Simony resigns for good reason, he will also be entitled to have the Company continue to pay its portion of health care premiums for plans in which he is participating immediately prior to the termination through the Simony Severance Period.
 
On March 13, 2018, the Company entered into an employment agreement with Harvey Werblowsky (the "Werblowsky Agreement"), pursuant to which Mr. Werblowsky will continue to serve as Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of the Company. The term of the Werblowsky Agreement commenced on March 13, 2018 and continues for one year, with automatic one-year extensions unless (x) either Mr. Werblowsky or the Company gives written notice not to extend at least sixty (60) days’ prior to the end of the then-current term or (y) Mr. Werblowsky’s employment is terminated in accordance with the terms of the Werblowsky Agreement. Pursuant to the Werblowsky Agreement, Mr. Werblowsky will receive an annual base salary of $250,000.
 
The Werblowsky Agreement further provides that Mr. Werblowsky is entitled to participate in all benefit plans provided to executives of the Company. If the Company terminates Mr. Werblowsky’s employment without cause or he resigns with Good Reason (as defined in the Werblowsky Agreement), the Werblowsky Agreement provides that he will be entitled to receive his base salary through the six (6) months following such termination (the "Werblowsky Severance Period") as well as any incentive bonus that has been declared or awarded to him for a prior fiscal year but has not yet been paid. If Mr. Werblowsky resigns for good reason, he will also be entitled to have the Company continue to pay its portion of health care premiums for plans in which he is participating immediately prior to the termination through the Werblowsky Severance Period.

Severance Agreements

On November 12, 2019, the Company entered into a retention agreement with each of Mr. Simony, (the "Simony Retention Agreement"), and Mr. Werblowsky, (the "Werblowsky Retention Agreement" and, together with the Simony Retention Agreement, the "Retention Agreements"). Each Retention Agreement provides for a cash retention payment (each, a "Retention Payment") and certain extended benefits to each of Mr. Simony and Mr. Werblowsky (the "Benefits") in recognition of his significant contributions to consummating the Company’s August 2019 transaction with Jade Mountain Partners, LLC, which allowed the Company and its then subsidiary White Eagle Asset Portfolio, L.P to refinance an onerous credit facility and improve the Company’s overall financial position (the "White Eagle Transaction), and in consideration of Mr. Simony’s and Mr. Werblowsky’s continued support and assistance with the current restructuring under consideration by the Company (the Restructuring").

The Retention Agreements provide that in exchange for the Retention Payment and Benefits, each of Mr. Simony and Mr. Werblowsky will remain employed by Imperial pursuant to his current employment agreement, each dated March 13, 2018 (the "Employment Agreements"), and that each Retention Payment is in lieu of any severance otherwise payable to Mr. Simony or Mr. Werblowsky under his Employment Agreement. In addition, each of Mr. Simony and Mr. Werblowsky will not be eligible to receive any portion of his Retention Payment if he is terminated for Cause (as defined in the Employment Agreements) or resigns without Good Reason (as defined in the Employment Agreements). The Retention Payments consist of $1.0 million for Mr. Simony and $500,000 for Mr. Werblowsky. The Benefits consist of, for each of Mr. Simony and Mr. Werblowsky, 12 months of (x) COBRA health insurance coverage reimbursement from the company and (x) other benefits to which he would be entitled upon an involuntary termination without Cause under his Employment Agreement. The Retention Payments are payable as to two-thirds upon entering into the Retention Agreements and one-third within three (3) business days of the consummation of the Restructuring, so long as the White Eagle Transaction remains in full force and effect and White Eagle and its limited partnership agreement remain operative and in good standing.

On December 10, 2019, the Company, entered into a retention agreement with Miriam Martinez, the Company’s Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary (the "Martinez Retention Agreement"). The Martinez Retention Agreement provides for a cash retention payment (the "Martinez Retention Payment") and certain extended benefits to Ms. Martinez (the "Martinez Benefits") in recognition of the significant contributions to consummating the Company’s August 2019 transaction with Jade Mountain, which allowed the Company and White Eagle to refinance the White Eagle Revolving Credit Facility and improve the Company’s overall financial position (the "White Eagle Transaction"), and in consideration of Ms. Martinez’s continued support and assistance with the Restructuring.

The Martinez Retention Agreement provides that in exchange for the Martinez Retention Payment and Martinez Benefits, Ms. Martinez will remain employed by Imperial pursuant to the 2018 Martinez Agreement, and that the Martinez Retention Payment is in lieu of any severance otherwise payable to Ms. Martinez under the 2018 Martinez Agreement. In addition, Ms. Martinez will not be eligible to receive any portion of the Martinez Retention Payment if she is terminated for Cause (as defined in the 2018 Martinez Agreement) or resigns without Good Reason (as defined in the 2018 Martinez Agreement). The Martinez Retention Payment consists of $700,000. The Martinez Benefits consist of 18 months of (x) COBRA health insurance coverage reimbursement from the Company and (x) other benefits to which she would be entitled upon an involuntary termination without Cause under the 2018 Martinez Agreement. The Martinez Retention Payment is payable as to two-thirds upon entering into the Martinez Retention Agreement and one-third within three (3) business days of the consummation of the Restructuring, so long as the White Eagle Transaction remains in full force and effect and White Eagle and its limited partnership agreement remain operative and in good standing. In the event that the Company files for bankruptcy prior to the payment of any portion of the Martinez Retention Payment or Martinez Benefits, the Company will file with the bankruptcy court a motion to approve a Key Employee Retention Plan to preserve each of Ms. Martinez’s rights under the Martinez Retention Agreement to the full Martinez Retention Payment and Martinez Benefits provided that she must comply with all of the provisions of the Martinez Retention Agreement.

Compensation Agreement - Chief Executive Officer

On January 27, 2020, the Company, granted a bonus to Patrick J. Curry, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (the "Bonus"), in recognition of his past and ongoing work for the Company. The Bonus consists of: (i) $400,000 in cash, payable promptly after the grant, and 1,000,000 shares of restricted common stock of Emergent, vesting in thirds upon the first three anniversaries of the grant date, (ii) up to $300,000 in cash, as determined by the Compensation Committee (the "Compensation Committee") of Emergent’s Board of Directors (the "Board"), payable upon the consummation of the Company’s contemplated restructuring, and (iii) up to $300,000 in cash, as determined by the Compensation Committee, if the Company effects the Restructuring at least $600,000 under the budget for such Restructuring that is approved by the Board within 45 days of the date hereof, measured as of 30 days after the date of the Restructuring.

Resignation - Chief Investment Officer

On January 29, 2020, Jack Simony, the Company’s Chief Investment Officer, notified the Company of his resignation, effective on February 7, 2020. Also, on January 29, 2020, the Company and Mr. Simony entered into an amendment (the "Amendment") to the Simony Retention Agreement. Pursuant to the Amendment, the remaining one-third of the retention payment is accelerated and will be paid within seven (7) days of the date of the Amendment.

The Company does not have any general policies regarding the use of employment agreements, but has and may, from time to time, enter into such a written agreement to reflect the terms and conditions of employment of a particular named executive officer, whether at the time of hire or thereafter.

Litigation

In accordance with applicable accounting guidance, the Company establishes an accrued liability for litigation and regulatory matters when those matters present loss contingencies that are both probable and estimable. In such cases, there may be an exposure to loss in excess of any amounts accrued. When a loss contingency is not both probable and estimable, the Company does not establish an accrued liability. As a litigation or regulatory matter develops, the Company, in conjunction with any outside counsel handling the matter, evaluates on an ongoing basis whether such matter presents a loss contingency that is probable and estimable. If, at the time of evaluation, the loss contingency related to a litigation or regulatory matter is not both probable and estimable, the matter will continue to be monitored for further developments that would make such loss contingency both probable and estimable. When a loss contingency related to a litigation or regulatory matter is deemed to be both probable and estimable, the Company will establish an accrued liability with respect to such loss contingency and record a corresponding amount of litigation-related expense. The Company will then continue to monitor the matter for further developments that could affect the amount of any such accrued liability.

Lincoln Benefit Settlement

On May 22, 2019, a settlement in the amount of $21.3 million was signed between Lincoln Benefit Life Company, White Eagle Asset Portfolio, L.P. and Emergent Capital, Inc. pursuant to which Lincoln Benefit, agreed to not to contest the 55 life insurance policies that are presently owned by White Eagle and Emergent Capital agreed to drop its legal action against Allstate Life Insurance Company and settle for $2.0 million. The settlement relates to six separate legal actions pertaining to the validity of certain White Eagle policies and receivables for maturities of life settlements totaling $39.1 million. The settlement of the litigation was approved by the Bankruptcy Court in June 2019, and accordingly, the receivable for maturities of life settlement was adjusted to reflect the reduction which resulted in approximately $17.8 million recorded as change in fair value of life settlements loss in the condensed and consolidated financial statements of the Debtors at May 31, 2019. The $2.0 million settlement related to the Allstate lawsuit will be recorded upon receipt.

Sun Life Settlement

On April 18, 2013, Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada ("Sun Life") filed a complaint against the Company and several of its affiliates in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, entitled Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada v. Imperial Holdings, Inc., et al. ("Sun Life Case"), asserting, among other things, that at least 28 life insurance policies issued by Sun Life and owned by the Company through certain of its subsidiary companies were invalid. The Sun Life complaint, as amended, asserted the following claims: (1) violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") Act, (2) conspiracy to violate the RICO Act, (3) common law fraud, (4) aiding and abetting fraud, (5) civil conspiracy to commit fraud, (6) tortious interference with contractual obligations, and (7) a declaration that the policies issued were void. Following the filing of a motion by the Company to dismiss the Sun Life Case, on December 9, 2014, counts (2), (4), (5), (6) and (7) of the Sun Life Case were dismissed with prejudice. The Company then filed a motion for summary judgment on the remaining counts. On February 4, 2015, the Court issued an order (the "Order") granting the Company’s motion for summary judgment on counts (1) and (3), resulting in the Company prevailing on all counts in the Sun Life Case.

On July 29, 2013, the Company filed a separate complaint against Sun Life in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, captioned Imperial Premium Finance, LLC v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada ("Imperial Case"), which was subsequently consolidated with the Sun Life Case. The Imperial Case asserted claims against Sun Life for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and fraud, and sought a judgment declaring that Sun Life is obligated to comply with the promises made by it in certain insurance policies. The Imperial complaint also sought compensatory damages amounting to at least $30.0 million and an award of punitive damages. On August 23, 2013, Sun Life moved to dismiss the complaint, but the Court denied Sun Life’s motion in early 2015. Subsequently, on February 26, 2015, Sun Life appealed the denial to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The Company moved to dismiss Sun Life’s appeal, and, on December 17, 2015, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Company, dismissing Sun Life’s appeal. The Imperial Case therefore returned to the District Court.

On September 22, 2016, however, the District Court granted summary judgment in favor of Sun Life on the entirety of the Imperial Case. Subsequently, on January 12, 2017, the Company appealed the District Court’s decision, and on January 24, 2017, Sun Life filed its own notice of appeal. As part of these two appeals, the Court of Appeals will review every dispositive order issued by the District Court throughout the consolidated case. Per the Court of Appeals, oral argument will be scheduled in the near future.

In January 2018, oral argument was held in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In September 2018, the Circuit Court ruled that Florida is the jurisdiction for all the Sun Life cases.

On December 4, 2019 the Company and certain of its subsidiaries entered into a Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release (the "Settlement Agreement") with Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada ("Sun Life") and Wilmington Trust, N.A. as securities intermediary ("Wilmington Trust"). The Settlement Agreement relates to Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada v. Imperial Holdings, Inc., et al., Case No. 13-cv-80385 BRANNON (consolidated with Case No. 13-cv-80730) (S.D. Florida) (the "Legal Action"), which has been ongoing since 2013.

Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, (i) 31 life insurance policies with face totaling $163.5 million issued by Sun Life were canceled in exchange for a lump sum payment of $36.1 million. The settlement included two policies held by the Company outside of White Eagle with an aggregate face value of $12.0 million, 28 policies held by White Eagle with an aggregate face value of $141.5 million and one policy with a face value of $10.0 million in receivable for maturity for White Eagle. Of this amount, approximately $12.7 million was received by the Company, $13.4 million was paid to White Eagle and $10.0 million was paid to Wilmington Trust for the maturity receivable, (ii) the Legal Action dismissed with prejudice, (iii) Sun Life agreed not to challenge the validity of or to seek to deny coverage (other than for non-payment of premiums) for certain life insurance policies issued by it and held by White Eagle that were specifically excluded from the settlement or have already matured, and (iv) Sun Life released all claims against the Company and Wilmington Trust, and the Company and Wilmington Trust released all claims against Sun Life.

Other Litigation

Other litigation is defined as smaller claims or litigations that are neither individually nor collectively material.  It does not include lawsuits that relate to collections.

The Company is party to various other legal proceedings that arise in the ordinary course of business, separate from normal course accounts receivable collections matters. Due to the inherent difficulty of predicting the outcome of these litigations and other legal proceedings, the Company cannot predict the eventual outcome of these matters, and it is reasonably possible that some of them could be resolved unfavorably to the Company. As a result, it is possible that the Company’s results of operations or cash flows in a particular fiscal period could be materially affected by an unfavorable resolution of pending litigation or contingencies. However, the Company believes that the resolution of these other proceedings will not, based on information currently available, have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial position or results of operations.