U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22745 / July 8, 2013
Securities and Exchange Commission v. William Todd Peever and Philip James Curtis, Civil Action No. 2013 BCSC 1090 (Docket S118023) (June 20, 2013)
Canadian Court Enforces U.S. Judgment Award in Market Manipulation Case Against William Todd Peever and Phillip James Curtis
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that on June 20, 2013, the Honorable Justice Peter J. Rogers of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada granted summary judgment in favor of the Commission to recognize and enforce judgments previously entered in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against William Todd Peever (“Peever”) and Phillip James Curtis (“Curtis”), both of whom are Canadian citizens residing in British Columbia. Those U.S. judgments held Peever and Curtis jointly and severally liable for $2,894,537.48 in disgorgement and $1,611,998.18 in prejudgment interest for their respective roles in a fraudulent scheme to manipulate the stock price of SHEP Technologies, Inc. (“SHEP”) f/k/a Inside Holdings Inc. (“IHI”), whose shares traded on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board.
The Commission’s complaint in SEC v. Brian N. Lines, et al., 1:07-CV-11387 (DLC) (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 19, 2007), filed in U.S. federal court, had alleged, in pertinent part, that during 2002 and 2003, defendants Peever and Curtis, together with certain co-defendants, engaged in a scheme to secretly obtain control of the publicly traded shell company IHI, through use of nominees. The scheme involved merging IHI with a private company to form SHEP, secretly paying touters to promote the IHI/SHEP stock, and then selling SHEP stock into the ensuing demand. During the first half of 2003, Peever, Curtis, and certain other defendants sold over 3 million SHEP shares into this artificially-stimulated demand, generating about $4.3 million in illegal proceeds. As part of the scheme, Peever and Curtis failed to file required reports with the Commission regarding their beneficial ownership of IHI and SHEP stock to conceal that they, among others, owned substantial positions in, and had been selling, SHEP stock.
Curtis and Peever challenged the Commission’s attempt to enforce the U.S. court judgments in Canada by contending: (1) the judgments had been procured by fraud; and (2) that the disgorgement award was penal in nature and, therefore, could not be recognized under Canadian law. The Canadian court rejected both of the Defendants’ arguments, and held that there was no basis to bar enforcement of the judgments against the Defendants in Canada.