U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19705 / May 19, 2006
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Geoffrey A. Gish; Weston Rutledge Financial Services, Inc.; Zamindari Capital, LLC; Lexington International Fund, LLC a/k/a Lexington International Fund, Inc.; and Oxford Adams Capital, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:06- CV-1171 (NDGA May 17, 2006)
On May 17, 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) filed a Complaint For Injunctive and Other Relief (Complaint) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against Geoffrey A. Gish, a resident of Roswell, Georgia, and four entities located in Roswell, Georgia that Gish controls: Weston Rutledge Financial Services, Inc. (Weston Rutledge); Zamindari Capital, LLC (Zamindari); Lexington International Fund, LLC a/k/a Lexington International Fund, Inc. (Lexington); and Oxford Adams Capital, LLC (Oxford Adams).
The Complaint alleges that from as early as February 2004 through the present, Gish and the other defendants have fraudulently sold at least $8.8 million of securities to more than 100 investors located in several states. Gish has offered and sold these securities through fraudulent investment programs that he named Zamindari, Lexington, and Oxford. Gish lured investors with offering materials that falsely suggested that each program had historically generated returns ranging between 44% to over 100% per year. Gish also told investors, falsely, that there was no risk of loss with these investments. The complaint alleges that Gish operated the Zamindari, Lexington and Oxford Adams programs as a Ponzi scheme. Since November 2005, Gish has diverted approximately $100,000 from investors to his personal bank account, and has diverted at least another $100,000 to his firm, Weston Rutledge, and used those funds to pay miscellaneous personal and other expenses. The complaint alleges that Gish and Weston Rutledge lulled investors by sending them account statements with completely fictitious rates of return. Some account statements represented that investors had received rates of return exceeding 100% per year.
The Complaint alleges that the defendants have violated the registration and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and that defendant Gish has violated the antifraud provisions of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Sections 206(1) and 206(2).
On May 17, 2006, the Court issued an order granting the Commission's requests for (i) a temporary restraining order; (ii) an asset freeze; (iii) an accounting of all funds raised; (iv) an appointment for defendants Weston Rutledge, Zamindari, Lexington, and Oxford Adams; and (v) an order expediting discovery and preventing the destruction of documents. The Commission's complaint also seeks (i) preliminary and permanent injunctions against future violations; (ii) disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest; and (iii) imposition of civil penalties. The Court scheduled a hearing on June 19, 2006 to determine whether to issue a preliminary injunction.
The Commission thanks the Georgia Secretary of State, Division of Securities and Business Regulation, for its assistance in this matter.