U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 18545 / January 16, 2004
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Superior Opportunities, Inc., et al., Case No. 04-80021-CIV-HURLEY/HOPKINS (USDC/SD FL)
SEC OBTAINS EMERGENCY ORDERS FREEZING ASSETS OF SUPERIOR OPPORTUNITIES, INC., J.F. SIMMS & CO., LLC and JON F. SIMMS
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC" or "Commission") announced that on January 14, 2004 it filed an emergency federal civil action seeking to freeze the assets of two companies and an individual involved in a fraudulent securities offering. The emergency part of this action was filed against defendants Superior Opportunities, Inc. ("Superior"), J.F. Simms & Co., LLC ("J.F. Simms"), and Jon F. Simms ("Simms"). Also named in the civil action are William J. Hickey ("Hickey") and Sean A. Osborne ("Osborne"), the principals of Superior. Defendant Superior is headquartered in Boynton Beach, Florida. Defendant J.F. Simms is based in Madison, Wisconsin. On January 14th, the Honorable Daniel T.K. Hurley, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, entered, among other things, a temporary order freezing the assets of Superior, J.F. Simms and Simms.
The Commission alleged that Superior, through defendants Hickey, Osborne, J.F. Simms and Simms raised approximately $7.8 million from approximately 200 investors to fund a purported business that purchased credit card debt and receivables. The complaint alleges that in raising money for this enterprise from investors, the defendants falsely represented that all investor principal would be used to purchase the debt and receivables, that the investment was low risk, and that returns could exceed 36%. According to the complaint, defendants J.F. Simms and Simms misappropriated investor funds to the tune of $1.4 million.
The Commission's complaint charges J.F. Simms and Simms with violating the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws. Specifically, the Commission alleges that J.F. Simms and Simms violated 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 promulgated thereunder. Further, the complaint charges Superior, Hickey and Osborne with negligently making material false statements and omissions, as well as violating the registration provisions of the federal securities laws. Specifically, the Commission alleges that Superior, Hickey and Osborne violated Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933. In addition to the emergency relief described above, the complaint seeks permanent injunctions prohibiting future violations of the securities laws, disgorgement, and civil penalties against all the defendants.