SEC v. Thomas Fisher, et al. Case No. 07-cv-4483 (N.D. Ill.)

Oct. 7, 2022

On August 9, 2007, the SEC filed a complaint against former Chairman, CEO and President Thomas Fisher ("Fisher"), former CFO and Executive Vice-President Kathleen Halloran ("Halloran"), and former Treasurer and Vice-President George Behrens ("Behrens") of Nicor, Inc. ("Nicor"), a major Chicago-area natural gas distributor. The complaint alleged that, from at least 1999 through 2002, defendants materially overstated Nicor's revenues under the company's performance-based rate ("PBR") program and thereby materially overstated Nicor's financial performance. The defendants were alleged to have misrepresented Nicor's actual performance under the PBR program by, among other things, making or authorizing false and misleading statements about Nicor's performance in multiple filings with the Commission. See Amended Complaint.

On August 3, 2010, pursuant to his consent and without admitting or denying the allegations against him, the Court entered a Final Judgment as to Fisher. The Final Judgment permanently enjoined Fisher from violating Sections 17(a)(2) and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and from aiding and abetting violations of Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, and 13a-13, and required him to pay $825,000 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. On September 7, 2010, Fisher paid a total of $825,000 of prejudgment interest and disgorgement (the "Distribution Fund"). See Litigation Release 21603.

Additional funds were deposited into the Distribution Fund in connection with settlements by the remaining two defendants, who consented to the entry of Final Judgments, on May 29, 2013, without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations that they violated Sections 17(a)(2) and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933. (The Commission voluntarily dismissed its claims in the Amended Complaint that Halloran and Behrens violated other provisions of the federal securities laws.) Pursuant to their consents, defendants Halloran and Behrens agreed to pay a total of $291,075.98 and $152,705.95, respectively, each comprised of disgorgement and prejudgment interest. See Litigation Release 22715.

On March 28, 2011, the Court appointed Damasco & Associates LLP as the Tax Administrator to fulfill the tax obligations of the Distribution Fund.

On January 28, 2016, the Court appointed The Garden City Group, Inc., now known as Garden City Group, LLC ("Garden City") as the Distribution Agent to oversee the distribution of the Distribution Fund to injured investors.

On March 22, 2016, the SEC filed a motion to approve a plan of distribution, together with the plan of distribution. See Motion to Approve Distribution Plan and Proposed Distribution Plan.

On March 25, 2016, the Court approved the Distribution Plan. See Order Approving Distribution Plan.

The Distribution Plan provides that the distribution of the Fisher Distribution Fund shall be made to certain claimants who received a wire payment or who cashed or otherwise negotiated their distribution payment in the administration of the settlement of the related case titled, SEC v. Nicor, et al., No. 07-cv-1739 (N.D. Ill.). The distribution shall be made on the same basis as the distribution plan in the Nicor case, except as specifically modified by the Distribution Plan in the Fisher case.

On June 30, 2016, the Commission filed a motion to transfer funds to the Distribution Agent for disbursement to eligible investors. On July 11, 2016, the Court granted the Commission’s motion and entered an order to transfer the funds to the Distribution Agent for disbursement to the eligible investors, and the Court amended the order on September 6, 2016. See Amended Order

For more information, please contact the Distribution Agent.

Persons to Contact:
Distribution Agent: Garden City Group
Tel. # 1-800-231-1815

Last Reviewed or Updated: Jan. 20, 2023