U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22052 / July 22 , 2011
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Gerald Harold Levine, et al., 2:07-CV-00506 (LDG/RJJ) (District of Nevada, Complaint filed April 17, 2007)
Court Enters Judgments Against Las Vegas Husband and Wife For Securities Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on July 8, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada entered final judgments against MaryAnn Metz, the former secretary/treasurer and a director of Nu Star Holdings, Inc. (“Nu Star”), and Darin Scott Metz (also known as Damien Metz), her husband, who was president of a related company named Global Environmental Systems, Inc. The Metzes were the only remaining defendants in a pending offering fraud and market manipulation case.
The Commission’s complaint, filed on April 17, 2007, alleged that the Metzes and others, including MaryAnn’s parents Gerald and Marie Levine, engaged in a fraudulent scheme to sell approximately $4.5 million worth of shares of Pink Sheet companies, primarily to investors in the United Kingdom, out of boiler rooms in Barcelona, Spain and Santa Ana, California, in violation of the federal securities laws. The complaint also alleged that the Metzes participated in a related market manipulation scheme involving stock of the same Pink Sheet companies, including Nu Star.
The Commission alleged that MaryAnn Metz, who was one of two officers and directors of Nu Star, participated in the offering fraud by: (1) failing to disclose that the Levines, who were Nu Star’s majority shareholders, had previously been found liable for committing securities fraud; (2) failing to disclose that the president of Nu Star had been suspended from the practice of law for three years; and (3) failing to disclose to investors the excessive commissions that were paid to the boiler room sales force from the proceeds of the sale of Nu Star stock. The complaint also alleged that both Metzes purchased Nu Star shares in trades that were orchestrated with Gerald Levine and others at increasing prices in order create the illusion that there was a robust and increasing market for Nu Star’s shares, and that the shares had value.
Without admitting or denying the Commission’s allegations, except as to jurisdiction, the Metzes consented to the final judgments, which bar them from serving as officers or directors of publicly traded companies. MaryAnn is barred permanently, and Darin is barred for ten years. The final judgments also permanently bar both Metzes from participating in the offering of a penny stock. Additionally, MaryAnn Metz is permanently enjoined 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 (“Exchange Act”), while Darin Metz is permanently enjoined from violating Exchange Act Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5. The final judgments also order Mary Ann Metz to disgorge $172,088, but waive payment and decline to impose penalties against her or Darin Metz based on their financial inability to pay. MaryAnn Metz also consented to the dismissal of her appeal of the order granting the Commission’s motion for summary judgment against her. SEC v. MaryAnn Metz, Case No. 10-17271 (9th Cir.)
The Court previously granted the Commission’s motion on summary judgment against Nu Star, the Levines, and Alan Copeland. The Levines’ appeal of that decision is pending. SEC v. Gerald Levine, et al., Case No. 10-16238 (9th Cir.)
For further information on this action, see: