9. COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|9 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2019
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
Executive Employment Agreements – Bill Williams and Gerald Easterling
On April 1, 2015, the Company entered into employment agreements with each of Bill G. Williams, as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, and Gerald Easterling as the Company’s President, effective as of April 1, 2015 (the “Employment Agreements”).
The Employment Agreements are each terminable at will and each provide for a base annual salary of $96,000. In addition, the Employment Agreements each provide that the employee is entitled, at the sole and absolute discretion of the Company’s Board of Directors, to receive performance bonuses. Each employee will also be entitled to certain benefits including health insurance and monthly allowances for cell phone and automobile expenses.
Each Employment Agreement provides that in the event employee is terminated without cause or resigns for good reason (each as defined in their Employment Agreements), the employee will receive, as severance the employee’s base salary for a period of 60 months following the date of termination. In the event of a change of control of the Company, the employee may elect to terminate the Employment Agreement within 30 days thereafter and upon such termination would receive a lump sum payment equal to 500% of the employee’s base salary.
Each Employment Agreement contains certain restrictive covenants relating to non-competition, non-solicitation of customers and non-solicitation of employees for a period of one year following termination of the employee’s Employment Agreement.
On August 15, 2019, Mr. Bill Williams resigned from his position as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective August 31, 2019. A separation agreement is currently being negotiated.
Vista Capital Investments, LLC
On April 30, 2019, a complaint was filed against the Company in the U.S. District Court in Dallas, Texas alleging that the Company breached a provision in a common stock purchase warrant (the “Vista Warrant”) issued by the Company to Vista Capital Investments, LLC (“Vista”). Vista alleges that the Company failed to issue certain shares of the Company’s common stock as was required under the terms of the Vista Warrant. Vista is currently seeking money damages in the approximate amount of $7,000,000, which the Company believes is unwarranted and excessive, as well as costs and reimbursement of expenses. As of the date hereof, no hearing has been scheduled, but the Company is vigorously defending itself against these claims, preparing a counter-claim against Vista and taking such other appropriate action, in addition to seeking for other costs and relief as may be appropriate. The Company is currently in discussions with Vista and has accrued $50,000 for the settlement of this complaint, which is recognized as “loss on warrant settlement” on the accompanying Statement of Operations in the nine months ended December 31, 2019.
On August 5, 2019, the Company received a formal notice from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the Company’s facility in La Coste, Texas due to the detection of IHHNV, a viral disease of Pacific white shrimp, from two Postlarvae (“PL”) shipments from the Company’s Texas hatchery supplier in March and April of this year. At the time of receipts of such shipments from the hatchery in March and April, the Company was notified by its supplier that the shipments were virus free. Based on the Company’s quality control procedures during the course of the shrimp farming process in the Company’s tanks and, in this case the slower than normal growth rate indicating possible compromise, the Company undertook to have lots independently tested by the University of Arizona Pathology Laboratory in Tucson. Based on those tests, IHHNV was detected and the Company’s facility was placed under quarantine until further notice by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Such quarantine notice also imposes no discharge of any culture water to state waters (creeks, rivers, streams, bays) and no sales of any shrimp until further notice. The Company’s system of tanks prevents crossover contamination in order to quickly begin restocking of PL shrimp from a different hatchery beginning in August in different tanks. Such orders have been placed and are expected to be placed into production as soon as inspection is passed and the quarantine has been lifted. Furthermore, the Company has enhanced its system to include nursery tanks that will allow the Company to evaluate the health of the shrimp through much earlier testing in its quality control process. While the Company expects to incur costs associated with the proper disposal of such batches, it does not expect it to be material.