U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20238 / August 13, 2007
United States v. Eric Turner and Kenneth May, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Crim. No. 07-60173-CR
Grand Jury Indicts Former Principals of Defunct South Florida Payday Advance Company Which Raised Over $1.6 Million in Fraudulent Securities Offering
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") announced that on June 28, 2007, Eric Turner and Kenneth May, residents of South Florida, were criminally indicted by a federal grand jury convened by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. The 16 count indictment charges the defendants for their roles in a fraudulent offering that raised over $1.6 million from more than 70 investors nationwide through the sale of securities issued by Virtual Cash Card LLC, d/b/a Virtual Cash ("Virtual Cash"), a defunct South Florida payday advance company. In November 2002, the Commission filed an emergency action against the defendants, Virtual Cash and others charging them with violations of the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws.
According to the Indictment, from at least September 2001 through December 2002, the defendants used in-house sales agents and an independent sales group, Omni Advertising & Marketing, Inc. ("Omni"), to raise funds for their purported payday advance business, promising up to 150% returns on their investments. They further represented to investors that their funds would be used to purchase accounts receivables, that their funds would be fully collateralized by accounts receivables, that Virtual Cash was properly licensed and profitable, and that investors would not incur any costs in connection with their investments. In truth, Virtual Cash was never profitable or properly licensed as a money transmitter, and most of the funds invested by investors were not used to fund accounts receivables. Rather, investor funds were used to fund Virtual Cash's operations, to pay substantial commissions to Virtual Cash and Omni sales agents and, to pay "dividends" to prior investors. The indictment charges Turner and May with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud (18 U.S.C. §§ 371), wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343) and mail fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341).
In January and February 2004, by consent, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida permanently enjoined Virtual Cash, Turner and May from violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 15(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Final Judgments entered against Turner and May ordered them to pay disgorgement in the amounts of $41,360 and $32,031, plus prejudgment interest in the amounts of $1,077.11 and $834.16, respectively, found them jointly and severally liable for disgorgement in the amount of $360,000, plus prejudgment interest in the amount of $7,537.50, and ordered each of them to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $120,000 each.