U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20750 / September 26, 2008
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stephen Michael Strauss, Civil Action No. 2:08-CV-026-P-S N.D. Miss. (September 25, 2008)
The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) announced today that it has filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi — Oxford Division against Stephen Michael Strauss, of Southaven, Mississippi. Strauss was the president and CEO of Chilmark Entertainment Group, Inc. (n/k/a Integrated Bio-Energy Resources, Inc.) ("Chilmark"). The Complaint seeks, among other things, an injunction, civil penalties, a penny stock bar and an officer and director bar.
The Complaint alleges that, from November 2006 through December 2006, Strauss issued a series of press releases in rapid succession that misrepresented that Chilmark or its successor company, Integrated, was on the verge of manufacturing biofuel from palm oil. In truth, when Strauss issued these press releases, neither Chilmark nor Integrated had secured any funding, purchased the land to build a refinery, or begun building the refinery to manufacture the biofuel. These press releases dramatically inflated the trading volume and the price for Chilmark shares.
The Complaint alleges that Strauss has violated Sections 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.
The SEC acknowledges the assistance and cooperation of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).