U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
SEC Seal
Home | Previous Page
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Before the
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Release No. 47462 / March 7, 2003

ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDING
File No. 3-11056


 

 

ANDREW L. POPE,

Respondent.

 

 


:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION 15(b) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934, MAKING FINDINGS, AND IMPOSING REMEDIAL SANCTIONS

I.

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") deems it appropriate and in the public interest that public administrative proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") against Andrew L. Pope ("Respondent" or "Pope").

II.

In anticipation of the institution of these proceedings, Respondent has submitted an Offer of Settlement (the "Offer") which the Commission has determined to accept. Solely for the purpose of these proceedings and any other proceedings brought by or on behalf of the Commission, or to which the Commission is a party, and without admitting or denying the findings herein, except as to the Commission's jurisdiction over him and the subject matter of these proceedings, and the findings contained in Section III.7 and III.8 below, which are admitted, Respondent consents to the entry of this Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions ("Order"), as set forth below.

III.

On the basis of this Order and Respondent's Offer, the Commission finds that:

1. Pope, age 57, is a former resident of Las Vegas, Nevada. During 2000, Pope provided bulk e-mail services to various businesses and individuals. In August 1993, Pope pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make counterfeit U.S. currency and, thereafter, was imprisoned for 18 months following his guilty plea. United States v. Andrew L. Pope and Peter Romhani, Cr. No. S-92-232-LDG (RLH) (D. Nev. Aug. 11, 1993). Pope has never been associated with any entity registered with the Commission.

2. Hightec, Inc. ("Hightec"), is a former Delaware corporation, the charter of which was revoked on March 1, 1999. At all times relevant to this proceeding, the common stock of Hightec was registered with the Commission under Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act, and the company had continuing reporting obligations. However, Hightec fail to file required reports with the Commission after December 18, 1996. The registration of Hightec's common stock pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act was revoked on July 19, 2002.

3. On July 25, 2002,the Commission filed a complaint against Pope, alleging that between February and May 2000, Pope violated Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. SEC v. Pope, CV-S-02 1014-RLH (RJJ).

4. The complaint alleges that, during the relevant period, Pope disseminated numerous unsolicited "spam" e-mails, each of which publicized the stock of one of six issuers, including Hightec. The complaint further alleges that the e-mails disseminated by Pope contained false and misleading statements concerning: (1) Pope's trading intentions, compensation, and success "track record" with respect to the stocks he was promoting via e-mail to investors; (2) stock price projections for the six publicized issuers; and (3) the financial condition of the six publicized issuers.

5. During February through May 2000, Hightec common stock was a penny stock. According to the complaint, Hightec stock at all relevant times traded for less than $5 per share and was never listed for trading on an exchange or quoted on the Nasdaq. The complaint further alleges that Hightec, which lacked audited financial statements, at all relevant times had net tangible assets of less than $2 million. The complaint further alleges that Hightec's sole officer hired Pope to promote Hightec stock. Pope thereby engaged in activities with the issuer for the purpose of inducing the purchase of the stock. Pope was a "person participating in an offering of penny stock" under Section 15(b)(6)(A) and (C) of the Exchange Act.

6. The Commission's complaint further alleges that Pope profited from his fraudulent scheme. After disseminating the spam e-mails and fraudulently generating investor interest, Pope sold stock of all six of the issuers into the resulting inflated markets, realizing profits of approximately $669,000. 1

7. On November 20, 2002, Pope pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and commercial bribery and one count of securities fraud in a federal criminal indictment relating to the scheme. U.S. v. Pope, S2-00-Cr-631 (RCC)(S.D.N.Y.).

8. On February 14, 2003, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada issued a final judgment against Pope, permanently enjoining him from further violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(b) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

IV.

In view of the foregoing, the Commission deems it appropriate and in the public interest to impose the sanctions specified in Respondent Pope's Offer.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

Respondent Pope be, and hereby is, barred from participating in any offering of a penny stock, including: acting as a promoter, finder, consultant, agent or other person who engages in activities with a broker, dealer or issuer for purposes of the issuance or trading in any penny stock, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any penny stock.

For the Commission, by its Secretary, pursuant to delegated authority.

Jonathan G. Katz
Secretary

Footnotes

1 Litigation as to the Commission's claim for disgorgement of these profits is continuing.

 

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/34-47462.htm


Modified: 03/10/2003