U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22808 / September 23, 2013
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stephen L. Kirkland and The Kirkland Organization, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-3150-JEC (N.D. Ga.)
SEC Charges Atlanta-Area Defendants with Securities Fraud
On September 23, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an action in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia, charging Stephen L. Kirkland (Kirkland), a Marietta, Georgia resident, and his company The Kirkland Organization, Inc. (TKO), a Georgia corporation, with violations of the federal securities laws for making false and misleading statements to investors in the United States and in Great Britain. The Commission’s complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties against the defendants.
The Commission’s complaint alleges that between late 2008 and late 2010, Kirkland and TKO repeatedly made false and misleading statements to investors and potential investors including but not limited to: (a) if they invested with the defendants through a managed account at Westover Energy Trading Partners, LLC (Westover), there would be no risk of losing their principal; (b) they would earn 2% to 3% per month; (c) a specified New York real estate developer/owner was a manager of Westover; and (d) the New York real estate developer/owner’s substantial wealth would be used to indemnify investors against loss. Investors in the United States and Great Britain have invested at least $800,000 with the defendants based upon those false representations.
The complaint alleges that Kirkland and TKO violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. It further alleges that while acting as investment advisors, the Defendants violated Sections 206 (1) and Section 206 (2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”), the antifraud provisions of the Advisers Act. With respect to Kirkland, the complaint also alleges that he, while acting as a control person, induced violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.