U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19590 / March 6, 2006
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Michael Lauer, et al., Case No. 03-80612-CIV-MARRA/VITUNAC (S.D. Fla).
Michael Lauer Held in Contempt for Violating Asset Freeze Order, Acting in Bad Faith by Failing to Take Part in the Discovery Process and Repeatedly Violating Court Orders
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on January 24, 2006, the Honorable Kenneth A. Marra, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida found Defendant Michael Lauer in contempt of Court for violating the Court's asset freeze order, acting in bad faith by failing to take part in the discovery process and repeatedly violating Court Orders.
After an evidentiary hearing on December 6, 2005, the Court found that the Commission had established by clear and convincing evidence that Lauer violated numerous court orders, including the Court's Asset Freeze Order and Orders to appear for his deposition, fully and completely answer the Commission's Interrogatories, and produce documents. Specifically, the District Judge ordered that: (1) Lauer's affirmative defenses be stricken; (2) Lauer will not be permitted to present any witness or introduce any evidence that he has not already disclosed and produced; (3) Lauer shall return all assets that he transferred since his asset freeze on July 10, 2003, which is at least $172,258, within 20 days or face a daily monetary penalty of $1,000 per day; and (4) Lauer shall reimburse the SEC's attorneys' fees and costs in connection with bringing the contempt proceedings and the SEC's travel costs and expenses.
A copy of the District's Court Order (PDF format, 674 KB) may be found at the Commission's website.
For further information, see Litigation Release No. 18226 (July 10, 2003), Litigation Release No. 18247 (July 23, 2003), Litigation Release No. 18991 (December 2, 2004), Litigation Release No. 19018 (December 30, 2004), Litigation Release No. 19019 (December 30, 2004), Litigation Release No. 19042 (January 21, 2005) and Litigation Release No. 19186 (April 15, 2005).