Russian Space Startup to Pay $7 Million Fee

American SEC has accused Momentus Space of misleading claims

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged the space startup from Russia for $7 million. Its founder and former CEO Mikhail Kokorich is also accused of misleading claims about the company’s technology.

Momentus, which was established in 2017, is engaged in developing space transportation technology for satellites. Based on unique propulsion technology, it should help satellites to change their orbits.

SEC has also announced charges against special purpose acquisition corporation Stable Road Acquisition, an American company. It was supposed that Momentus will get the listing on NASDAQ through this SPAC company, not the IPO.

According to SEC, Momentus repeatedly told investors that it had «successfully tested» its propulsion system in space. However, the company’s only in-space test had failed. Moreover, Stable Road never reviewed the test results, even though it claimed that «extensive due diligence» has been conducted.

As a result, SEC has ruled that Momentus Space and Stable Road Acquisition have to pay $7 million and $1 million of penalties respectively. 

In January 2021 Mikhail Kokorich left his position as the company’s CEO. Even though he is the founder of Momentus and author of the vast part of its technologies, U.S. laws do not allow him to get access to the sensitive information of a company registered in the U.S.

Kokorich is a former owner of Technosila, a retail network in Russia. In 2012 he launched a new company called Dauria Aerospace to develop and build small satellites. The company had found itself in a long court dispute with Roskosmos and then declared bankruptcy.

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