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SEC v. Douglas Case No. 82-cv-00029-JZ (N.D. Ohio)

Jan. 19, 2023

On January 18, 1982, the SEC filed a complaint against James L. Douglas a/k/a James L. Cooper ("Defendant"). The complaint alleged that from at least December 1976 through the filing of the complaint, the Defendant raised more than $7.5 million by offering and selling unregistered securities. The Defendant made multiple misrepresentations and omitted material information relating to the costs of drilling and refurbishing wells, his financial contributions to the partnerships, the involvement of related parties in transactions, and sharing of revenues with persons who solicited investments. See Complaint.

On August 26, 1983, the Defendant was ordered to disgorge a total of $200,000.00 under a three-year payment plan. See Order Directing Ancillary Relief. From 1984 to 1986, the Defendant only paid $121,975.29, missing two of the three installment deadlines, and leaving an unpaid balance in the amount of $78,024.71. On August 8, 1988, the Court found the Defendant in contempt of the three-year disgorgement plan.

The amount the Defendant paid, plus $20,000.00 frozen in a related lawsuit, SEC v. James R. Crawford, No. C 79-353 (N.D. Ohio), and accrued interest was disbursed to injured investors in two distributions by Court orders dated October 18, 1985 and September 26, 1988.

On August 20, 2012, after an evidentiary hearing and briefing, the Court found the Defendant in contempt and ordered the payment of the entire outstanding judgment, plus post-judgment interest of approximately $1,780,000.00 at the statutory rate of 10.74% from 1983, the entry date of the judgment. Ultimately, in December 2013, the Defendant transferred $1,900,000.00 to the registry of the Court, in full satisfaction of the outstanding judgment and post-judgment interest (the "Distribution Fund"). See Order re: Satisfaction of Relief from Prior Order for Monetary Penalty, Ancillary Relief, Civil Contempt, and Asset Freeze.

On December 24, 2014, the Court appointed Damasco & Associates LLP as the Tax Administrator to fulfill the tax obligations of the Distribution Fund.

On June 15, 2015, the Court appointed Kurtzman Carson Consultants, LLC ("KCC") as the Distribution Agent to oversee the administration and distribution of the Distribution Fund to injured investors.

On March 21, 2017, the Court issued an Order Approving the Plan of DistributionSee also Distribution Plan.

Current Distribution:

If you were an investor who previously received a distribution, you may be entitled to a distribution payment. A Distribution Plan Notice ("Notice") has been sent to those investors who received previous distributions. If you are one of these investors, you must complete the form accompanying the notice ("Certification Form") and return it to the Distribution Agent by May 26, 2017.

On April 4, 2019, the Commission filed a motion for an order to disburse the Distribution Fund to the Distribution Agent for distribution to injured investors in accordance with the Plan. See the Commission’s Motion. On April 19, 2019, the Court entered an order granting the Commission’s motion. See the Court’s Order.

The Distribution Agent mailed distribution checks to injured investors on June 7, 2019

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