U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22041 / July 15, 2011
DISTRICT COURT ORDERS WEST TO PAY $1,254,975.43 IN DISGORGEMENT, PREJUDGMENT INTEREST AND CIVIL PENALTY
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Darrel West and Own My Travel, LLC, and Professionally Assisted Marketing, Inc., Case No. 6:09-CV-1419 (M.D. Fla.).
The Commission announced that the Honorable John Antoon II, Senior District Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted the Commission’s Motions to Set Disgorgement and Civil Penalty Amounts as to Defendant Darrel West. The Court ordered West to pay disgorgement of $606,413.31 (representing profits gained as a result of the conduct alleged against him in the Complaint) together with prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $42,148.81. The Court also ordered West to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $606,413.31 for a total liability of $1,254,975.43. West controlled Defendant Own My Travel, LLC. Previously, the Court entered Judgments of Permanent Injunction against West and Own My Travel. The Judgments, entered by consent, enjoin West and Own My Travel from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Commission voluntarily dismissed with prejudice its previous claims for disgorgement and civil penalties against Own My Travel and disgorgement against Professionally Assisted Marketing, Inc. as both companies are currently defunct.
The Commission filed its complaint on August 14, 2009, against West, Own My Travel and Professionally Assisted Marketing, LLC as a relief defendant. The complaint alleged the defendants misrepresented Own My Travel as a legitimate multi-level marketing company when it was actually a fraudulent pyramid scheme premised on the sale of memberships and thus destined to collapse, leaving investors with substantial losses. The complaint also alleged that West and Own My Travel misled investors about Own My Travel’s business structure and how it generated revenue, the future commissions investors would purportedly receive on a monthly basis, the risks associated with the Own My Travel investment, and West’s failures running a similar predecessor company.