U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20674 / August 7, 2008
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Peter S. Jessop, et al., Civil Action No. 05-CV-10115 (PAC) (S.D.N.Y., Filed December 1, 2005)
S.E.C. Settles Fraud Charges with Offshore Entity in Scheme that Drove the Stock Price of Cameron International, Inc. from Pennies to $90 Per Share
On August 6, 2008, the Honorable Paul A. Crotty, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, entered a Final Judgment as to defendant Socius Holdings, Ltd. ("Socius") in SEC v. Peter S. Jessop, et al., permanently enjoining Socius from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Socius consented to the entry of the judgment without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission's complaint. Pursuant to the Final Judgment, Socius will pay disgorgement in the amount of $1,237,342, plus prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $123,481, and a civil penalty of $125,000.
The Commission's complaint alleges that from August through November 2005, Socius, an entity incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and operating out of Geneva, Switzerland, in concert with other related individuals and entities, manipulated the stock price of Cameron International, Inc. ("Cameron") through a series of coordinated wash sales and matched orders designed to create the illusion of an active and rising market in Cameron and induce others to buy Cameron shares at inflated prices. The complaint further alleges that during this period, the defendants' trading comprised the majority, and on some days all, of the retail buying and selling of Cameron's stock. Moreover, the complaint alleges that the defendants' coordinated trades drove Cameron's share price from less than $1 per share to $90 per share in approximately a two month period.
On November 7, 2005, the Commission suspended trading in shares of Cameron due to a lack of current and accurate information concerning a possible change in ownership of the company and questions regarding the dramatic rise in its share price. On December 1, 2005, the United Stated District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a temporary restraining order freezing a U.S. brokerage account titled in the name of Socius that held the proceeds from Socius' trading of Cameron stock. Pursuant to an order entered by the Court on August 6, 2008, the Final Judgment will be satisfied with the funds from the frozen Socius account.