U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22583 / January 2, 2013
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Online-Registries, Inc. and David Stern, Civil Action No. 10-CA-433-M-DLM (District of Rhode Island, Complaint filed October 19, 2010)
FINAL JUDGMENT ENTERED AGAINST DEFENDANT IN SEC ACTION INVOLVING RHODE ISLAND-BASED OFFERING FRAUD
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today the resolution of an enforcement action filed by the Commission on October 19, 2010 in federal district court in Rhode Island against defendants David G. Stern and Online-Registries, Inc. (d/b/a Online Medical Registries) ("OMR") and relief defendant Michele Ritter. The court entered final judgment by consent against Stern on December 5, 2012 and entered a stipulation of dismissal of the claims against the relief defendant on December 27, 2012. The court previously had entered a final judgment by default against OMR on September 25, 2012.
The Commission's complaint alleged that Stern and OMR made false and misleading statements to investors in OMR, a web-based company founded and controlled by Stern, in connection with investors' purchase of stock in OMR. The misrepresentations generally related to OMR's business ventures, the status of its technology, its number of customers, and Stern's personal background, consisting of disbarment from the practice of law and a prior criminal conviction in federal district court in Massachusetts relating to financial wrongdoing. Based upon these and other allegations, including the misuse of investor funds, the Commission obtained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze on October 20, 2010, and a stipulated preliminary injunction on February 28, 2011 against Stern and OMR. On April 3, 2012, the court held Stern in contempt for violations of the preliminary injunction.
Without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's complaint, Stern agreed to the entry of a final judgment that: (i) permanently enjoins him from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act") and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; (ii) holds him liable for disgorgement of $197,875, representing amounts received as a result of the conduct alleged in the Commission's complaint, together with prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $27,800.71, for a total of $225,675.71; and (iii) waives the payment of disgorgement and prejudgment interest and does not impose a civil penalty based upon the representations in Stern's sworn statement of financial condition. The final judgment by default entered against OMR (i) enjoins OMR from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and (ii) orders OMR to pay disgorgement of $197,875 and prejudgment interest in the amount of $24,997.22. The Commission had initially charged that relief defendant Michele Ritter received some investor funds from Stern and sought the return of those funds. The Commission has now agreed to dismiss its charges against relief defendant Michele Ritter.