SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 17868 / December 2, 2002
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Virtual Cash Card LLC d/b/a Virtual Cash, Eric L. Turner, Kenneth M. May, Omni Advertising, Inc., Anthony Joseph Pinone (Defendants) and Virtual Cash Card International, Inc., Omni Advertising and Marketing, Inc., Kenance Consulting, Inc. (Relief Defendants), Case No. 02-61672-CIV-ROETTGER (S.D. Fla.) (November 26, 2002)
SEC HALTS A FRAUDULENT OFFERING OF UNREGISTERED SECURITIES ISSUED BY VIRTUAL CASH, A PURPORTED SOUTH FLORIDA PAYDAY ADVANCE COMPANY
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC" or "Commission") announced that on November 26, 2002, it filed an emergency federal civil action seeking to halt a fraudulent offering of securities issued by Virtual Cash Card LLC, d/b/a Virtual Cash ("Virtual Cash"), a purported South Florida payday advance company. The action was filed against defendants Virtual Cash, its CEO and president, Eric L. Turner ("Turner"), its vice-president, Kenneth M. May ("May"), Omni Advertising, Inc. ("Omni") and Omni's president, Anthony Joseph Pinone ("Pinone"). On the same day, the Honorable Kenneth A. Marra, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, entered, among other things, a temporary restraining order and an order freezing the defendants' assets.
According to the Commission's complaint, Virtual Cash, Turner and May, through Omni, a boiler room operated by Pinone, have been offering unregistered securities to investors nationwide. The SEC alleged that Virtual Cash and its principals have raised more than $1 million from more than 70 investors to purportedly fund short-term cash advances for its purported payday advance business. The complaint alleges that in raising money from investors for this enterprise, Virtual Cash, Turner and May represented to investors that, among other things, their funds would be used to purchase accounts receivable loan contracts and that their funds would be fully collateralized by accounts receivable. Instead, the SEC alleged that of the money taken in from investors, only $156,000 was used to purchase accounts receivable. Further, according to the SEC's complaint, Virtual Cash, Turner and May failed to tell investors that 15% of their funds would be used to pay excessive sales commissions to Omni and that an additional 3% of their funds would be used to pay commissions to May.
As a result, the Commission charges Virtual Cash, Turner, May, Omni and Pinone with violations of registration provisions of the federal securities laws, specifically Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"). The Commission further charges Virtual Cash, Turner and May with violations of anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws, including Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. In addition, the SEC charges May, Omni, and Pinone with violations of Section 15(a)(1) of the Exchange Act for acting as unregistered brokers, and charges Turner with aiding and abetting May's, Omni's and Pinone's violations of Section 15(a)(1) of the Exchange Act.
In addition to the emergency relief described above, the Commission is also seeking permanent injunctions prohibiting future violations of the securities laws, disgorgement of ill-gotten profits and money penalties. Also included in the lawsuit as relief defendants are three entities controlled by the defendants. These entities are: Virtual Cash Card International, Inc.; Omni Advertising and Marketing, Inc.; and Kenance Consulting, Inc.
The SEC would like to extend its thanks to the Broward County Sheriff's Office for their assistance in this matter.