SEC Files Emergency Enforcement Action to Halt $18.2 Million Cross-Border Prime Bank Scheme
Arlington, Va., Company Solicited Investors in British Columbia and Pacific Northwest
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, 2006 - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed an emergency action yesterday against Daniel Eric Byer, Malcolm Cameron Boyd Stevenson, Preston David Pinkett II, and International Fiduciary Corp., S.A. (IFC). The Commission alleged that the defendants defrauded over 180 investors in a fraudulent "prime bank" scheme that appears to have raised at least $18.2 million to date. IFC is a Virginia corporation with offices in Arlington, Va. Pinkett, who also lists an Arlington, Va., address, is IFC's chairman and CEO. Byer and Stevenson are Canadians.
The complaint alleges that defendants solicited investors in the Pacific Northwest and the Canadian province of British Columbia, including Abbotsford, B.C. According to the SEC's pleadings, investors were requested to, and did, send their investments to a bank in Arlington, Va.
Linda Thomsen, Director of the SEC's Enforcement Division, said, "The SEC will work quickly to stop U.S. issuers who illegally offer or sell purported prime bank instruments, whether their victims reside in the U.S. or abroad."
Ethiopis Tafara, the Director of the SEC's Office of International Affairs, said, "The SEC's investigation of this case was significantly advanced through the assistance of the British Columbia Securities Commission, and our cooperative efforts have resulted in swift legal action to bring down this international prime bank fraud."
On Nov. 1, 2006, the British Columbia Securities Commission issued a Temporary Order and Notice of Hearing ordering the defendants to cease trading the IFC investments to residents of British Columbia.
The Commission alleged that the defendants violated the registration and antifraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the antifraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. As permanent relief, the Commission requested permanent injunctions against future violations, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties as to all defendants.
In response to the Commission's request for emergency relief, the Court entered an order that, among other things, temporarily restrains defendants from violating Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), Rule 10b-5, 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5, and Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 77(e) and 77q(a); freezes investors' funds wherever located and all assets of the defendants; prohibits the defendants from accepting or depositing additional funds from actual or potential investors; requires an immediate accounting; prevents document alteration or destruction; expedites discovery; and requires defendants to repatriate all investor funds into the United States.
The Commission previously has provided information to investors warning them about prime bank investment scams. That information is available at http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/primebank.shtml
C. Joshua Felker, Assistant Director
Division of Enforcement
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Additional materials: Litigation Release 19934