U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 18960 / November 4, 2004
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. BILL L. STAPLETON, Civil Action No. 04-3224 (C.D.Ill.)
COMMISSION SUES-AND FEDERAL CRIMINAL AUTHORITIES ARREST-STOCKBROKER BILL L. STAPLETON FOR MISAPPROPRIATING MORE THAN $250,000 FROM THREE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMMUNITY IN GERMANY
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on October 1, 2004, it filed a civil complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois against Bill L. Stapleton, alleging that he fraudulently misappropriated at least $253,252 from three U.S.-citizen investor victims residing in Germany and sent the funds to an account he controlled in Springfield, Illinois. Also today, the United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois announced that, following his arrest in El Paso, Texas on federal criminal charges involving the same conduct charged in the Commission's complaint, Stapleton was transported last night to Springfield, Illinois to face those charges, and that he is expected to appear in federal court there today.
According to the Commission's complaint, Stapleton's victims included an active-duty U.S. Army Sergeant, a U.S. Defense Department civilian schoolteacher and a civilian employee of a U.S. defense contractor, all of whom resided in Germany. The complaint alleges that Stapleton, age 51 and a retired U.S. Army sergeant, also resided in Germany at the time of his conduct. According to the complaint, Stapleton was associated with Nalico Equity Corporation, which is a U.S.-registered broker-dealer having offices in Texas and in Europe. The complaint further alleges that, in each instance, after persuading the victim to give him funds for investment, Stapleton invested only a portion of the funds as instructed, misappropriating the rest. Stapleton, the complaint further charges, supplied phony account statements to two of his three victims for several years thereafter to conceal his theft. Finally, the complaint alleges that Stapleton fled Germany in August 2001 when questions were raised concerning funds that appeared to be missing from his automobile insurance business; and that Stapleton has, more recently, been residing in El Paso, Texas and working at an automobile dealership there.
The complaint charges Stapleton with violations 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 seeks permanent injunctive relief, a disgorgement of Stapleton's ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, an accounting of his assets and of what he did with the misappropriated funds, and civil penalties. The criminal indictment of Stapleton, also announced today, charges him with six counts of money laundering, one count of mail fraud, and includes a forfeiture count.
The Commission wishes to acknowledge the assistance of the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of Illinois, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Army, and the Illinois Secretary of State's Securities Division.