U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20634 / July 2, 2008
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Indigenous Global Development Corporation and Deni G. Leonard, Civ. Action No. C-06-05600 (N.D. Cal. June 30, 2008)
SEC Wins Summary Judgment on Fraud Claims Against Company and its CEO
On June 30, 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained an order on summary judgment against a San Francisco-based company and its former Chairman and CEO on claims that they misled investors about the company's expected revenues and its sources of financing. The order, issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, found Indigenous Global Development Corporation ("IGDC") and Deni G. Leonard liable for fraud in connection with the purchase and sale of IGDC securities.
According to the Court's order, IGDC claimed, among other things, to be involved in the purchase and sale of natural gas, with the goal of providing "financial self-sufficiency for Native Americans … and indigenous people worldwide."
The Court found, that from May 2003 through September 2005, in a series of press releases and in filings with the Commission, IGDC and Leonard falsely told investors that IGDC had contracts to purchase and sell millions of dollars in natural gas and also had access to millions of dollars in financing. In fact, the Court found, IGDC was a start-up company that had no revenues and no significant contracts or sources of financing.
The Court found that Leonard committed fraud in connection with the purchase and sale of securities, in violation of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; issued false certifications as to the accuracy of IGDC filings with the Commission, in violation of Exchange Act Rule 13a-14; and aided and abetted IGDC in making filings with the Commission that were materially inaccurate, in violation of Exchange Act Section 13(a) and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1 and 13a-13.
The Court's order enjoins Leonard from violations of these provisions of the securities laws; requires him to pay disgorgement of $249,793.68 (representing the proceeds from his sales of IGDC stock to the public during the course of his fraud) plus prejudgment interest of $37,586.84; imposes a monetary penalty of $249,793.68; prohibits Leonard from serving as an officer or director of any public company; and also prohibits Leonard from involvement in the offering of any penny stock.
In addition, the Court entered judgment against IGDC, which is now defunct, and imposed a penalty of $208,000. For more information about this case, refer to Litigation Release No. LR-19829 (Sept. 13, 2006).