U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 21675 / September 30, 2010
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. QURI RESOURCES, INC. AND JAIME SANTIAGO GOMEZ, Civil Action No. 10-CV-23513 (S.D. Fla.)
SEC BRINGS ACTION AGAINST PURPORTED FLORIDA MINING COMPANY AND ITS PRESIDENT FOR FRAUD
The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) announced today that on September 30, 2010 it filed a complaint against Quri Resources, Inc. (Quri), a purported mining company headquartered in Miami, Florida, and operating in Ecuador, and its CEO, Jaime Santiago Gomez, a resident of Miami, Florida and Quito, Ecuador. The Commission's complaint alleges that Quri and Gomez violated the antifraud provisions of the securities laws in connection with Quri's issuance of a series of false press releases and other misleading public statements and that Gomez also violated the registration provisions of the securities laws by selling Quri stock in unregistered transactions.
According to the complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida, from February to July 2009, Quri claimed in several press releases that, among other things:
it was ready to begin drilling on a mining project in Ecuador with a probable gold reserve worth over $1 billion;
it had signed letters of intent to acquire two valuable mining projects in Arizona;
it had acquired a second mining project in Ecuador and anticipated producing gold within three months; and
it had signed a letter of intent to acquire a third valuable mining project in Ecuador.
The complaint also alleges that, at the same time, Quri's website and other public statements described Quri as having ongoing operations, employees worldwide, and an impressive management team.
The complaint alleges that these claims were grossly misleading because, among other things:
the exact value of the gold reserves in Ecuador could not be known without further detailed exploration;
Quri never acquired any mining projects in Arizona, and it acquired, at most, only one project in Ecuador;
Quri never developed any of its purported mining projects and was never in a financial position to do so; and
Quri had no money, was never able to raise any funds, had no reasonable expectation of any funding, and was heavily indebted.
The complaint also alleges that Quri did not have any ongoing operations, employees worldwide, or an impressive management team.
The Commission's complaint further alleges that, from February to July 2009, taking advantage of Quri's artificially inflated stock price, Gomez, through an entity he controlled, dumped over half a million shares of Quri stock on the unsuspecting public, selling Quri stock in unregistered transactions, earning at least $17,500 from the sale of the stock.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Quri violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and that Gomez violated Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Commission seeks a final judgment against Quri and Gomez, enjoining Quri from future violations of the foregoing antifraud laws and enjoining Gomez from future violations of the foregoing antifraud and registration laws, ordering civil penalties and disgorgement of all ill-gotten gains, including prejudgment interest, against Gomez, and barring Gomez from participating in any offering of penny stock.
The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in connection with this matter.
See Also: SEC Complaint