LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 16170 / June 2, 1999

SEC v. EMANUEL PINEZ ET AL., Civil Action No. 97-10353-PBS (D. MA.)

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that Gilboa Peretz and his company PG Technologies were held in civil contempt for obstructing justice by making intentionally false and misleading statements at a hearing in federal district court. Specifically, Judge Patti Saris found that Peretz lied concerning the relationship between Pinez and a PG Technologies bank account that had been previously frozen by the Court. In addition, Judge Saris ordered Peretz and PG Technologies to pay $15,000 which was released to them as a result of their false statements.

This action against Peretz and PG Technologies arises out of the emergency action filed against Pinez in February 1997 for insider trading in advance of the news that he was to be fired from Centennial Technologies Inc. and that the company had been the subject of a large scale financial fraud. On February 14, 1997, as part of the emergency relief, Judge Saris froze assets of any funds in the name of or in the direct or indirect control of Pinez. PG Technologies' account, which at the time contained approximately $30,000, was immediately frozen because Pinez was a signatory on the account. PG Technologies requested a lift of the freeze and on February 24, at a hearing before Judge Saris and under oath, Peretz claimed that none of the $30,000 came from Pinez. Based on Peretz' sworn statement, the court lifted the freeze. The funds were immediately expended, and PG Technologies is now bankrupt.

The Court found that the Commission presented persuasive documentary evidence that Peretz intentionally misled the court at that February 24 hearing. The court found that the $30,000 was in fact money that had come from Pinez. In so finding, the Court also noted that PG Technologies had acknowledged in a "settlement agreement" with Centennial that it had previously purchased blank computer cards from Centennial at the instruction of Pinez, and that Pinez had provided the money for the payment.

The Court concluded that Peretz gave intentionally false and misleading testimony about the source of the money in the account "in order to interrupt and interfere with the Court's efforts to freeze Pinez's assets for the benefit for defrauded investors in Centennial." The Court noted that it would not have released the funds if it had been made aware of Pinez's involvement in PG Technologies.

For further information, please see Litigation Release Nos. 15258 15295, and 15399.