UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Before the SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Securities Exchange Act of 1934
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") deems it appropriate, in the public interest, and for the protection of investors that these proceedings be, and they hereby are, instituted pursuant to Sections 15(b) and 19(h) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") against David W. Benner ("Benner").
In anticipation of the institution of these administrative proceedings, Benner has submitted to the Commission an Offer of Settlement, which the Commission has determined to accept. Solely for the purpose of this proceeding and any other proceeding brought by or on behalf of the Commission, or to which the Commission is a party, prior to a hearing pursuant to the Rules of Practice, 17 C.F.R. § 201.1 et seq., and without admitting or denying the findings contained herein, except as to: (1) the jurisdiction of the Commission over him and over the subject matter of this proceeding; (2) the entry of a Final Judgment of Permanent Injunction and Other Equitable Relief against him as set forth in Paragraph III.D. below; and (3) the findings set forth in paragraph III.A. below, which are admitted, Benner consents to the entry of this Order Instituting Proceeding Pursuant to Sections 15(b) and 19(h) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions ("Order").
On the basis of this Order and the Offer of Settlement "(Offer") submitted by Benner, the Commission makes the following findings:
A. From at least January 1991 through December 1992, Benner was associated with a broker-dealer registered with the Commission pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act. During all times relevant, Benner was licensed by the National Association of Securities Dealers to sell securities and mutual funds.
B. On December 2, 1991, the Commission filed a complaint (the "Complaint") in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against Benner and others, captioned SEC v. Current Financial Services, Inc., et al., 91 Civ. 3089 (SSH).
C. The Complaint alleged, among other things, that during the period 1990 through at least December 1991, Benner, along with other defendants, offered and sold debt instruments in order to finance the purchase of medical receivables by Current Financial Services, Inc., of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The chief inducement used in the offer and sale of such securities were promises of extraordinary rates of return - typically between twelve percent (12%) and sixty percent (60%) per annum. On January 6, 1992, that court found that Benner had violated Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.
D. On May 3, 2000, without admitting or denying the allegations of the Complaint, Benner consented to the entry of a Final Judgment of Permanent Injunction and Other Equitable Relief ("Final Judgment"). On September 11, 2000, the Honorable Stanley S. Harris, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, entered the Final Judgment, which:
(l) permanently restrains and enjoins Benner from engaging in conduct violative of Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder; and
(2) orders Benner to pay $18,938.95 in disgorgement, comprised of $9,613.17 representing his commissions from sales of American Equity Funding Corporation ("American Equity") debt securities, as is described in the Complaint, and $9,325.78, representing prejudgment interest thereon. The Court further ordered that, based on Benner's sworn representations in his Statement of Financial Condition dated May 3, 2000, Benner was not directed to pay such disgorgement and interest based on his financial inability to pay.
E. It is appropriate, in light of these findings and the violations of law described below, to bar Respondent from association with any broker or dealer; provided, however, that after twelve months from the date of entry of this Order, Benner may reapply to become associated with any broker or dealer by making an application to the appropriate self-regulatory organization or, where there is no appropriate organization, to the Commission.
VIOLATIONS OF LAW
In engaging in the conduct described above, including that conduct found by the U.S. District Court in its January 6, 1992 Order, Respondent willfully violated Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.
In view of the foregoing, the Commission finds that it is appropriate and in the public interest to impose the sanctions that are consented to in the Offer submitted by Benner.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, that Benner is barred from association with any broker or dealer, provided however, that after twelve months from the date of entry of this Order, Benner may reapply to become associated with any broker or dealer by making an application to the appropriate self-regulatory organization or, where there is no appropriate organization, to the Commission.By the Commission.
Jonathan G. Katz