Litigation Release No. 22286 / March 13, 2012
Securities and Exchange Commission v. United American Ventures, LLC, et al, Civ. No. 10-cv-568-JCH/LFG (D. New Mexico).
COURT ORDERS TWO OFFICERS OF UNITED AMERICAN VENTURES TO PAY $1 MILLION PENALTIES AND $8.5 MILLION IN DISGORGEMENT IN SEC CASE
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that a federal judge has ordered two current and former officers of United American Ventures, LLC to pay a total of $2 million in civil penalties and to disgorge over $8.5 million in ill-gotten profits in a securities fraud case.
The SEC litigated the case beginning in June 14, 2010 when the agency charged Eric J. Hollowell of Newport Beach, California, Philip Lee David Jack Thomas of Irvine, California, Matthew A. Dies of Corona, California, Anthony J. Oliva of Placitas, New Mexico, and United American Ventures, LLC, and Integra Investment Group, LLC with securities fraud. The complaint alleged that United American Ventures, LLC, which is also known as UAV, raised $10 million from at least 100 investors through the unregistered and fraudulent sale of convertible bonds. According to the complaint, Hollowell and Thomas founded UAV, with Hollowell acting as the company’s president from 2006 until 2009, when Thomas took over as president of the company.
The Honorable Judith C. Herrara in federal court in New Mexico granted judgment in favor of the SEC on March 2, 2012, finding Hollowell, Thomas, and United American Ventures, LLC jointly liable for disgorgement of $8,652,942 and prejudgment interest of $426,430. The court also assessed civil penalties of $1,000,000 each against Hollowell and Thomas. The court had previously enjoined Hollowell and Thomas from violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as well as other provisions of federal securities laws.
The court also granted judgment in favor of the SEC finding Oliva and Integra Investment Group, LLC jointly liable for $284,039 in disgorgement, and Dies liable for $54,381 in disgorgement. It assessed a $130,000 civil penalty against Oliva and a $54,381 penalty against Dies.