U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 21219 / September 23, 2009
Securities and Exchange Commission v. John P. Utsick, et al., Civil Action No. 07-20975-CIV-HUCK/O'SULLIVAN
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on May 22, 2009, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered a Final Judgment Setting Disgorgement and Prejudgment Interest and Imposing a Civil Penalty against Defendant John P. Utsick. After evidentiary hearings over three days, the Court issued a 28-page opinion finding that Utsick ran his two entertainment companies as a Ponzi scheme, and improperly spent more than $4 million of investor money raised by his companies on his own expenses. The Final Judgment orders Utsick to pay disgorgement of $4,035.479.31, prejudgment interest of $921,708.84 and a civil penalty of $120,000.
The Commission began this action by filing its Complaint on April 17, 2006, against Utsick, his two companies, Worldwide Entertainment, Inc. and Entertainment Group Fund, Inc., and others. The Complaint alleges violations of the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws in connection with the fraudulent offering of shares and other investments in Utsick's entertainment ventures that raised more than $300 million from over 3,300 investors nationwide. Utsick previously consented to the entry of a permanent injunction without admitting or denying the allegations of the Complaint.
For additional information, see Litigation Release No. 19659 (April 17, 2006).