SEC Seeks Order Requiring Colorado Witness to Comply with Subpoena for Testimony

Litigation Release No. 24668 / November 19, 2019

Securities and Exchange Commission v. James S. Kimmel, No. 1:19-mc-00113-CMA (D. Colo., filed November 15, 2019)

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on Friday, November 15, 2019, it filed a subpoena enforcement action against a Colorado municipal court judge, the Honorable James S. Kimmel, for failing to appear for testimony pursuant to an SEC subpoena and seeking an order directing him to comply with an investigative subpoena for his testimony.

According to the application and supporting papers, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, the SEC is investigating potential insider trading in the securities of Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded company headquartered in Englewood, Colorado (Ampio). The SEC's application states that the SEC seeks Judge Kimmel's testimony to inquire about, among other things, Judge Kimmel's trading in Ampio securities, and his communications with individuals associated with Ampio.

On October 22, 2019, the SEC issued a subpoena for Judge Kimmel's testimony, which was scheduled for November 13, 2019.  Prior to the scheduled testimony date, Judge Kimmel's counsel notified the SEC that Judge Kimmel was declining to appear for his subpoenaed testimony, and Judge Kimmel did not appear on the scheduled date.

As stated in the SEC's application, a subpoena enforcement action is appropriate where the information sought from the witness is relevant to the investigation. The SEC is continuing its fact-finding investigation and has not concluded that anyone has violated the law, nor does the investigation mean that the SEC has a negative opinion of any person, entity, or security.