U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 18888 / September 16, 2004
Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 2105 / September 16, 2004
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. A.C.L.N., LTD.; ABDERRAZAK "ALDO" LABIAD; JOSEPH J.H. BISSCHOPS; ALEX DE RIDDER; PEARLROSE HOLDINGS INTERNATIONAL S.A.; EMERALD SEA MARINE, INC.; SCOTT INVESTMENTS S.A.; BDO INTERNATIONAL (CYPRUS); MINAS IOANNOU; CHRISTAKIS IOANNOU (DEFENDANTS); AND SCANDINAVIAN CAR CARRIERS A/S; PANDORA SHIPPING, S.A.; SERGUI, LTD.; WESTBOUND DEVELOPMENT CORP.; MAVERICK COMMERCIAL, INC.; AND DCC LIMITED (RELIEF DEFENDANTS), Case Number 02 CIV 7988 (LAP)(S.D.N.Y.)
A.C.L.N., CEO ABDERRAZAK LABIAD AND SCANDINAVIAN CAR CARRIERS ORDERED TO DISGORGE APPROXIMATELY $27.6 MILLION FOR THE BENEFIT OF DEFRAUDED INVESTORS
On September 13, 2004, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York signed final judgments by consent against Defendants A.C.L.N. Ltd. and its CEO Abderrazak "Aldo" Labiad and Relief Defendant Scandinavian Car Carriers requiring disgorgement of the balance of certain accounts frozen in Europe. The balance of these accounts totals approximately $27.6 million, money which the Commission intends to recommend be distributed to defrauded investors. A.C.L.N. is a Cyprus corporation headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, which has ceased doing business. A.C.L.N. formerly claimed to ship used vehicles to North and West Africa and to sell new cars in that region. Following the SEC's imposition of a trading suspension in March 2002, the New York Stock Exchange de-listed A.C.L.N.'s securities, the first such action by the Exchange since 1975. The SEC alleged, in its complaint filed October 8, 2002, that from 1998 through the third quarter of 2001, A.C.L.N. operated an elaborate financial fraud resulting in losses totaling millions of dollars to investors in the U.S. and abroad.
Without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission's complaint, A.C.L.N., Labiad and Scandinavian Car Carriers consented to the entry of an order that they disgorge the balance of certain frozen bank accounts in Europe they controlled. The Court ordered that Labiad disgorge the equivalent of $332,222 (USD) held in bank accounts in Monaco; that A.C.L.N. disgorge about $3.3 million that the Commission successfully repatriated from the Netherlands to the United States in 2003; and that Scandinavian Car Carriers disgorge about $24 million in its bank account in Denmark.
Labiad also consented to an order permanently barring him from acting as an officer or director of any public company whose securities are registered with the Commission and permanently enjoining him from further violations of the registration, anti-fraud, internal controls, and beneficial ownership provisions of the federal securities laws, Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Sections 10(b), 13(b)(5) and 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5, 13b2-1, 13d-1 and 13d-2, and from aiding and abetting violations of the periodic reporting, books and records, and internal control provisions of the Exchange Act, Sections 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) and Exchange Act Rules 12b-20, 13a-1 and 13a-16.
A.C.L.N. consented to the entry of an order permanently enjoining it from violating the anti-fraud, periodic reporting, books and records, and internal controls provisions of the federal securities laws, Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Sections 10(b), 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-1 and 13a-16. A.C.L.N. also consented to the entry of a Commission order revoking the registration of its securities.
The Commission earlier settled its case against A.C.L.N.'s auditor, BDO International (Cyprus) ("BDO Cyprus"). Without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission's complaint, BDO Cyprus consented to the entry of an order permanently enjoining it against any future violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the Exchange Act, and requiring it to disgorge $62,196.71 in compensation it received for performing its audit of ACLN. The Commission permanently barred BDO Cyprus and its two principals from appearing or practicing before the Commission as accountants.
This litigation continues against other Defendants named in the complaint.