eChapman 2000 annual report to be filed late

`Unexpected turnover' in accounting unit

April 04, 2001|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

eChapman.com Inc., the Internet financial services company started by Baltimore broker Nathan A. Chapman Jr., told federal securities regulators yesterday that its annual report would be filed late because of "unexpected turnover in its accounting department."

eChapman, which filed the notification with the Securities and Exchange Commission after the stock market closed, said the company was "unable to complete its financial statements in a timely fashion."

"Unfortunately," the company said in a statement, "eChapman.com was unable to predict the turnover in its accounting department, including the departure of its controller with only two weeks' notice, and accordingly, eChapman.com believes that its annual report on Form 10-KSB could not be timely filed without unreasonable effort or expense."

Neither Chapman, who is chairman and president of the company, nor Demetris B. Brown, its chief financial officer, could be reached for comment.

John Heine, an SEC spokesman, said companies have 90 days from the end of the fiscal year to file their annual report. eChapman.com's year ended Dec. 31.

"By and large, everybody is on time, but there are some people who can't make it for some reason or another," Heine said.

Shares of eChapman.com closed yesterday at $2.50 and were unchanged. The stock has fallen 81 percent since its initial public offering June 20, when shares were priced at $13.

eChapman.com is the third company Nathan Chapman has taken public since February 1998. Then, he took to market his flagship Chapman Holdings Inc., a Baltimore brokerage and investment banking firm, which raised $6.8 million.

Six months later, he took public a second company, Chapman Capital Management Holdings Inc., an investment advisory firm, raising $5.5 million. Both companies ceased trading on the Nasdaq after being folded into eChapman.

eChapman.com's ambition has been to build a Web site and become a leading online financial company selling brokerage services, mutual funds and insurance products over the Internet.

To widen its audience, eChapman offers lifestyle, educational, sports and cultural content that appeals to African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and women.

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