SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No.16969 / April 18, 2001
SEC v. ERIC E. RESTEINER, ET AL., Civil Action No. 01-CV-10637 (PBS) (D. Mass.) (U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts - Filed April 16, 2001)
SEC Obtains Emergency Relief To Halt Fraudulent Trading Scheme That Victimized Members of the Christian Science Church
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued temporary restraining orders against two individuals and two Massachusetts-based companies relating to a fraudulent trading scheme that raised approximately $22 million from at least 50 investors, many of whom were members of the Christian Science Church. The Commission sought the emergency relief in a civil fraud action it filed April 16, 2001, against Voldemar A. VonStrasdas of Nassau, the Bahamas, Charles G. Dyer of Manchester, Massachusetts, and two Danvers, Massachusetts-based companies controlled by Dyer, Resource F, LLC and Bunker Hill Aviation, LLC. The Commission's complaint also charged two other individuals, Eric E. Resteiner, most recently of Nassau, the Bahamas, and Miles M. Harbur of Jupiter, Florida, for their participation in the fraudulent trading scheme. In its ruling, the Court prohibited VonStrasdas, Dyer, Resource F and Bunker Hill from engaging in further fraudulent activity related to the trading scheme and froze the assets of all Defendants.
According to the complaint, the Defendants fraudulently offered and sold unregistered securities in an international bank-related financial instrument trading program that was completely fictitious. The Defendants promoted their trading program under various names, including Swiss Asset Management, Wall Street South, and Resource F. The Commission alleged that Resteiner, Harbur, VonStrasdas, and Dyer solicited investors using misrepresentations typical of "Prime Bank"-type investment frauds, including that the investment involved high-quality debt instruments of very large international banks, that the investors' principal was never at risk and could be returned after one year, and that investors would receive profits of approximately 4-5% every month (or 48-60% annually).
During the initial stages of the fraud, investors received monthly payments that the Defendants represented were "profits" on their investment. However, monthly payments to investors ceased by May 2000. Despite numerous requests, no known investors have received the return of their investment. Furthermore, since the cessation of monthly payments, VonStrasdas has regularly sent lulling letters to investors making excuses for the cessation of payments, and making the false statements that he expected trading and monthly payments to investors to resume soon. More recently, VonStrasdas and Dyer have each solicited investors to contribute money to purported legal efforts to obtain the return of investors' funds.
The Court entered the temporary restraining orders against Defendants VonStrasdas, Dyer, Resource F, and Bunker Hill Aviation, to prohibit them from engaging in further fraudulent activity and ordered the asset freezes of each of the Defendants to ensure that assetswill be preserved to pay investors their lost principal.
The Commission also seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions against each of the Defendants to prevent them from continuing to violate relevant provisions of the federal securities laws, repatriation of investor funds funneled to foreign bank accounts, disgorgement of monies fraudulently received by the Defendants, plus prejudgment interest, and civil monetary penalties from each of the Defendants. According to the complaint, Resteiner, Harbur, VonStrasdas, Dyer, Resource F, and Bunker Hill Aviation, variously, violated the antifraud, securities registration, and broker registration provisions of the federal securities laws, including Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
The Commission staff would like to thank the State of Kansas, Office of the Securities Commissioner, for their assistance in this matter.
For further information, see Litigation Release No.16963.http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr16969.htm