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U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Litigation Release No. 22200 / December 16, 2011

SEC v. OCC Holdings, Ltd., et al., Civil Action No. 04-CV-1122 (SDNY) (JPO)

SEC RESOLVES OCC HOLDINGS OFFERING FRAUD CASE

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on November 30, 2011, the Honorable J. Paul Oetken of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered consent judgments against the remaining defendants, Ahmed Awan and Yakov Koppel, in a case arising out of alleged fraudulent offerings of securities of OCC Holdings, Ltd, a/k/a OnCallContractors.com (“OCC Holdings”) and several other issuers. Without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission’s complaint, Awan and Koppel, both of Brooklyn, New York, consented to the entry of judgment that permanently enjoins Awan and Koppel from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The judgment further orders that Awan pay $655.41 in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest and a $10,000 civil penalty and that Koppel pay $850.53 in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest and a $10,000 civil penalty, and bars Koppel from participating in the offering of any penny stock.

In a related SEC administrative proceeding, Awan consented to the entry of an SEC order permanently barring him from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization, and from participating in any offering of a penny stock. In another related SEC administrative proceeding, Koppel consented to the entry of an SEC order permanently barring him from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or national recognized statistical rating organization.

According the Commission’s complaint, filed on February 11, 2004, beginning in December 2001, Awan, Koppel, Khurram Tanwir, Alan Labineri, and Joseph Favata, along with three entity defendants, fraudulently raised more than $2 million from investors through three offerings: (1) the sale of purported private placement shares of OCC Holdings; (2) the sale of promissory notes issued by MB Holdings and other entities; and (3) the purported sale of restricted shares of an unrelated, privately owned company. The offerings were orchestrated by, and/or for the benefit of, Tanwir and/or Labineri, who had allegedly been conducting fraudulent offerings together since at least 1999. In conducting the offerings, the defendants allegedly made false and misleading promises of imminent initial public offerings (“IPOs”) and/or substantial increases in the stock price; falsely represented that the promissory notes were guaranteed and risk-free; misappropriated and used investor funds for personal expenses; and failed to disclose their disciplinary history.

In March and April, 2004, the Commission obtained emergency relief, including temporary restraining orders, orders freezing the assets of almost all of the defendants and relief defendants, and expedited discovery.

On December 3, 2008, following the granting of the Commission’s motion for summary judgment, final judgments were entered against Tanwir and Labineri in which they were permanently enjoined from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, barred from participating in the offering of any penny stock and ordered, respectively, to pay $4,660,641.87 in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest and $3,432,739 in civil penalty (Tanwir) and $2,751,710.69 in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest and $2,026,739 in civil penalty (Labineri).

On February 20, 2009, the Commission obtained default judgments against defendants OCC Holdings, MB Holdings, and Equity Services Associates and relief defendants, Off World Strategic Holdings and MB Holdings USA Division A, Inc., in which the defendants were permanently enjoined from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and MB Holdings and Equity Services Associates were permanently barred from participating in the offering of any penny stock. In addition, OCC Holdings was ordered to pay $1,716,270.94 in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest and $1,252,652 in civil penalty, MB Holdings was ordered to pay $1,926,374.56 in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest and $1,406,000 in civil penalty, and Equity Services Associates was ordered to pay $1,060,584.26 in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest and $774,087 in civil penalty. Furthermore, relief defendants, Off World Strategic Holdings and MB Holdings USA Division A were respectively ordered to pay $592,958.91 and $137,010.99 in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest.

On November 22, 2011, the Commission voluntarily dismissed all claims against defendant Favata.

For further information, see Litigation Release No. 18573 (February 11, 2004) and Exchange Act Releases No. 65961 and 65962 (December 15, 2011).

 

 

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2011/lr22200.htm


Modified: 12/16/2011