U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19770 / July 21, 2006
Patrick Ballinger, Dennis R. Weaver, Kosta S. Kovachev, Lee E. Larscheid, Benny G. Morris, Darin W. Roberts, Linda M. Sears, Todd F. Walker, Branson City Limits, Inc., Resort Hotels, Inc., Universal Financial Leasing, Inc., and Ozark Ticket and Travel, Inc., No. 1:03-cv-1659-LJM-WTL (S.D. Ind. Nov. 10, 2003)
SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Kosta S. Kovachev and Darin W. Roberts in $28 Million Ponzi Scheme Case
The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) announced that on June 30, 2006 the Honorable Larry J. McKinney, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, entered final judgments against Kosta S. Kovachev (Kovachev) and Darin W. Roberts (Roberts), which enjoin Kovachev and Roberts from violating the antifraud and registration violations of the federal securities laws and orders the payment of disgorgement and, in the case of Kovachev, a civil financial penalty. The final judgment against Kovachev: (1) orders him to pay disgorgement in the amount of $217,527.21 and prejudgment interest in the amount of $20,621.15; (2) orders him to pay civil penalties in the amount of $120,000; and (3) permanently enjoins him from future violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The final judgment against Roberts: (1) orders him to pay disgorgement in the amount of $125,097.08 and prejudgment interest in the amount of $8,145.22; and (2) permanently enjoins him from future violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and does not impose a civil penalty based on his Sworn Statement of Financial Condition and other documents. Both Kovachev and Roberts consented to the entry of the final judgments without admitting or denying the allegations contained in the Commission's November 10, 2003 complaint.
In its complaint, the Commission alleged that Kovachev, Roberts, and ten individuals and entities (the Defendants) offered and sold securities, which were nominally structured as hotel timeshare rental interests, in unregistered transactions as part of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded at least 600 investors of over $28 million in 30 states. On November 10, 2003, Chief Judge McKinney issued a temporary restraining order, which froze the Defendants' assets and temporarily restrained the Defendants from violating the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws. On November 20, 2003, the Court issued preliminary injunctive orders against Kovachev, Roberts and the other defendants which continued the asset freeze and enjoined the defendants from violating the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws during the pendency of the litigation.
To date, the Commission has obtained final judgments from ten of the twelve defendants in this action.
For additional information, see Litigation Release No. 18450 (November 10, 2003) and Litigation Release No. 18476 (November 20, 2003), Litigation Release No. 18637 (March 25, 2004), Litigation Release No. 18650 (March 31, 2004), Litigation Release No. 18963 (November 8, 2004).