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SEC Grants FOIA Appeal to EFR

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruled in favor this week of a FOIA appeal submitted by Expanding Frontiers Research (EFR). The February appeal sought further release of records obtained from the SEC on ManyOne, LLC, a company operated by controversial Utah entrepreneur Joseph Firmage. The colorful Firmage, who more recently announced his candidacy for president of the United States, used ManyOne to attract investors for a number of loosely defined technology ventures, as explored in a recent EFR article.


SEC headquarters in DC (APK, Wikimedia)

Records obtained by EFR were part of an SEC investigation of ManyOne, ultimately resulting in no recommended enforcement action in 2018. Material released to EFR through the FOIA thus far includes a 29-page pdf containing an interview conducted by the SEC of a former ManyOne employee. The testimony describes a corporation in which over-promising and under-delivering on both financial commitments and products were standard operating procedures.


The 29-page pdf had a number of redactions and some eleven pages withheld in full. The SEC cited FOIA Exemptions b6 and b7c for the withheld material, each of which address privacy issues. Specifically mentioned by the SEC was the withholding of third-party and staff names and telephone numbers.


However, the redacted material clearly included instances unrelated to such personally identifiable information. EFR subsequently appealed the response and select redactions, clarifying we had no objections to the withholding of staff names and similar material exempt from the FOIA, but sought release of other information, including the eleven pages withheld in full.


The SEC explained in its March 20 response to the appeal that it remanded the matter for further review. “I have reviewed the transcript released to you in part and find that an adequate review was not performed, including the determination to withhold pages 18-29 of the PDF in their entirety as non-responsive,” the SEC wrote.


View the appeal submitted by EFR and the favorable response received from the SEC:


SEC Appeal Case 22-02509
.pdf
Download PDF • 98KB

23-00219 Brewer decision
.pdf
Download PDF • 152KB

From the March 20 SEC response:



EFR will publish and report on further records obtained from the SEC as applicable.


To learn more about the FOIA process, view our video, FOIA Basics. Be sure and check out our Video page to browse our growing collection of exclusive interviews and informational clips.


Questions or comments? Post them below or follow us and reach out on Twitter or Mastodon, among other ways to connect with us.


If you enjoy and value our work, please consider joining the financial supporters of Expanding Frontiers Research. Your contributions help with our FOIA work, website maintenance, video production, and other activities. Contribute through the secure “donate” button located at the top of the Blog page and on our home page. EFR is a Utah nonprofit corporation, tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, dedicated to sharing resources that most effectively embody best research practices.


Thank you for your consideration and interest.

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2 comentarios


So many charlatans, so little time. Jack, you & Erica are doing a great job! Keep it up my friend!

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Jack Brewer
Jack Brewer
24 mar 2023
Contestando a

Thank you for your interest and encouragement! Much appreciated.

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