SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 17960 / February 3, 2003
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stewart, et al., Civil Action No. 98 CIV 2636 (S.D.N.Y.)
COURT ENTERS FINAL JUDGMENT IN PRIME BANK CASE
On January 15, 2003, the Honorable Loretta A. Preska of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a Final Judgment against defendant Allen B. Gottlieb and relief defendants Americredit Commercial Corporation, Law Offices of Gottlieb and Associates, P.C. , and Finanzurich, Limited. Two other defendants, Kenneth R. Lagonia and Patrick J. Madden were found not liable for the charges filed against them in this case.
The Court found that Allen Gottlieb violated the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and permanently enjoined him from future violations. The Court also ordered Gottlieb to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest totaling $2,005,443 and civil money penalties of $878,333. The Court ordered the relief defendants to pay more than $1.8 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.
After a four day bench trial in early December 2002, the Court found that Gottlieb made numerous material misrepresentations in connection with his promotion of a fraudulent investment program that featured so-called prime bank instruments that were purportedly traded by the world's largest banks on a secretive international market. In connection with the scheme, three investors lost nearly $1.8 million in two separate transactions. In holding Gottlieb liable, Judge Preska noted that Gottlieb misrepresented his experience in dealing with prime bank instruments; misrepresented the financial capabilities of a bank that was to facilitate the prime bank trading; and omitted to tell the investors about prior failed transactions in which he played a similar role.
The Court further found, citing expert witness testimony offered by the Commission, that the investments Gottlieb promoted were "nothing other than bogus attempts to make money." Among other things, the Commission's expert witness identified the similarities between Gottlieb's scheme and numerous other prime bank frauds that recently have emerged and remain a persistent hazard to unwary investors.
For more information about this matter, see Litigation Release Nos. 15705 (April 14, 1998); 15752 (May 21, 1998); 16207 (July 12, 1999); 15819 (July 23, 1998).
For more information about prime bank frauds, see the SEC's homepage at http:// www.sec.gov/enforce/pbank/pbnkhome.htm.