SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 16565 / May 25, 2000
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. P. JOSEPH VERTUCCI, BRUCE E. STRAUGHN, ROBERT V. PETRY, ROLAND R. BAUGHMAN, RICHARD M. JOHNSON, EDWARD MEYER, JR., and HAZLET INVESTORS, INC. (Defendants), and JOANNE C. STRAUGHN (Relief Defendant), Civil Action No. 5:99CV426 (N.D. Ohio).
SEC GRANTED DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT OF INTERACTIVE MULTIMEDIA PUBLISHERS, INC.
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that on May 5, 2000, the Honorable Dan Aaron Polster, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, filed a Final Judgment by Default against defendant P. Joseph Vertucci. Vertucci is the former president and chief executive officer of Interactive Multimedia Publishers, Inc. ("IMP"), an Akron, Ohio software development firm that is now defunct. The Final Judgment requires Vertucci to disgorge $829,990 received by him as a result of his unlawful conduct described in the SEC's complaint, plus prejudgment interest in the amount of $262,380,89. In addition, the Final Judgment imposes a civil penalty on Vertucci in the amount of $829,990.
The Final Judgment also permanently enjoins Vertucci from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and permanently bars him from serving as an officer or director of any issuer that has a class of securities registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act or that is required to file reports pursuant to section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.
The Final Judgment against Vertucci arises from a complaint filed by the SEC on February 24, 1999, in which the Commission charged Vertucci with insider trading, financial fraud and stock price manipulation. Vertucci failed to answer or otherwise respond to the Commission's complaint. The litigation remains pending as to defendants Bruce E. Straughn, Richard M. Johnson, Roland R. Baughman, Robert V. Petry, Edward Meyer, Jr., and Hazlet Investors, Inc, and relief defendant Joanne C. Straughn.
This enforcement action is part of the Commission's four-pronged approach to minimizing Microcap fraud: enforcement, inspections, investor education, and regulation. For more information about the SEC's response to Microcap fraud, visit the SEC's Microcap Fraud Information Center at: http://www.sec.gov/news/extra/microcap.htm.
See also Litigation Release16069 (February 24, 1999).http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr16565.htm