U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 18494 / December 8, 2003
Securities and Exchange Commission v. James L. George, Paul E. Brodhagen, and Michael J. Wright, Civil Action No. 1:02-CV-3310-HTW (N.D. Ga.)
FEDERAL COURT ENTERS FINAL JUDGMENTS AGAINST GEORGE AND BRODHAGEN IN NATIONWIDE SECURITIES FRAUD
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") announced today that the Honorable Horace T. Ward, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, entered final judgments against defendants James L. George ("George") and Paul E. Brodhagen ("Brodhagen") on December 3, 2003. In the final judgment against George, the court permanently restrained and enjoined George from further violations of 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. George was ordered to pay disgorgement in the amount of $157,787, prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $50,786, and a civil penalty in the amount of $25,000. The final judgment against George directed that he pay the ordered amounts in a series of payments over a period of one year. In the final judgment against Brodhagen, the court set disgorgement against that defendant in the amount of $78,516.21 along with prejudgment interest thereon, but waived disgorgement and prejudgment interest and did not impose a civil penalty based Brodhagen's sworn financial statement submitted to the Commission. Brodhagen had previously been permanently enjoined from further violations of the securities laws in an order of the court on February 20, 2003. George and Brodhagen consented to the entries of their respective final judgments without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission's complaint.
The Commission's complaint alleged that George, Brodhagen and Michael J. Wright ("Wright"), while acting as Facilitators in Tri-Star Investment Group, L.L.C. ("Tri-Star"), fraudulently offered and sold unregistered securities, as part of a larger scheme in which Louis M. Lazorwitz ("Lazorwitz"), J. Charles Reives ("Reives") and Tri-Star sold securities interests in Tri-Star to over 900 investors in at least 35 states, and raised $15 million. Tri-Star, through Lazorwitz and Reives, initially represented that Tri-Star would invest in bank debentures and later claimed that it might invest in other international trade opportunities. The complaint also alleged that George, Brodhagen and Wright offered and sold Tri-Star directly and led investors to expect profits of 20% per month in so-called 13-month trading programs, after an initial 90-day waiting period, but that the defendants lacked a reasonable basis to project such profits.
See also L. R. 17994 (February 24, 2003); L.R. 17918 (January 7, 2003)