SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 17933 / January 15, 2003
SEC ALLEGES FRAUD AGAINST AVENTURA, FLORIDA INTERNET COMPANY IN CONNECTION WITH UNREGISTERED SECURITIES OFFERING
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. GETANSWERS, INC., JAMES KOENIG, and ROBERT COURNOYER, Case No. 03-20048-CIV-KING (S.D. Fla., filed January 10, 2003).
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that on January 10, 2003, it filed an emergency federal civil injunctive action against GetAnswers, Inc. (GetAnswers) of Aventura, Florida, James Koenig, GetAnswers' chief executive officer and president, and Robert Cournoyer, GetAnswers' chief operating officer, seeking to halt an on-going fraudulent offering of unregistered securities by GetAnswers. On January 10, 2003, the Honorable James Lawrence King, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, entered, among other things, a temporary restraining order and an asset freeze against all of the defendants.
According to the SEC's complaint, GetAnswers, which operates an Internet "knowledge management" service company, has raised approximately $6.3 million through a network of sales representatives offering and selling GetAnswers' stock from its Aventura, Florida offices. The complaint alleges, among other things, that(i)GetAnswers misleadingly described Koenig's background in its offering materials and sales pitches; (ii) GetAnswers falsely described an academic alliance with a South Florida college; (iii) the majority of investor funds raised have been used to line the pockets of GetAnswers' management and employees, including the individual defendants and (iv) GetAnswers' misrepresented Cournoyer's compensation. Moreover, GetAnswers and its sales representatives misled investors about the safety, security and rate of return of GetAnswers securities.
As a result, the Commission has charged GetAnswers, Koenig and Cournoyer with violations of 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 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC is also seeking, among other things, preliminary and permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten profits and a civil money penalty against GetAnswers, Koenig and Cournoyer in its lawsuit.
Upon the SEC's motion, the Court appointed Kathy M. Klock, Esq., an attorney in the law firm of Steel Hector & Davis LLP, as Receiver over GetAnswers. Among other things, Ms. Klock is responsible for taking control of GetAnswers and for marshaling and safeguarding its assets.