Litigation Release No. 17171 / October 4, 2001

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Commerce, Inc., and Timothy C. Ringgenberg Defendants. Civil Action No. 3:01-CV-1974-H (USDC/NDTX/DALLAS)

SEC Files Lawsuit against E-commerce Network Marketing Company

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") announced that on October 3, 2001, it filed a civil complaint against Commerce, Inc. ("NuEworld") and its co-founder and Chief Information Officer, Timothy C. Ringgenberg. The complaint alleges that NuEworld induced investment through false and misleading statements about the timing of a purported initial public offer ("IPO"), the projected value of its shares after the IPO, its prospect for revenue and sales growth and the true nature of its business relationships with recognizable companies referred to as "strategic partners." In one instance NuEworld falsely claimed that an IPO was imminent, in another instance the company quoted magazine articles suggesting that investors would become "Maserati rich" by purchasing its shares. NuEworld also utilized the Internet and members of its network marketing force to sell shares directly to the public. The Defendants are:

  • Commerce, Inc., a Delaware Corporation previously located in Irvine, California, and currently operating from Boca Raton, Florida. NuEworld operates a network marketing company and an Internet website at; and
  • Timothy C. Ringgenberg, age 34, a resident of Huntington Beach, California, and NuEworld's co-founder, Chief Information Officer and the officer in charge of NuEworld's initial capital formation activities.

Additionally, in offering materials and other communications with investors NuEworld claimed, among other things, that within 90 days of trading, "pre-IPO" shares sold for $.50 would be worth "between $24 and $68"-representing a return of between 4,800% and 13,600%. In truth, NuEworld never took meaningful steps towards an IPO. Indeed, at best the IPO claims merely reflected the vague future plans of Ringgenberg and the company's other two co-founders. The share price forecasts were without any reasonable basis. Moreover, potentially lucrative business relationships with recognizable Internet companies, "strategic partners," were exaggerated and never translated into any meaningful revenue for the company.

NuEworld and Ringgenberg, without admitting or denying any of the allegations of the SEC's complaint, simultaneously agreed to settle the charges that they violated the anti-fraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws. Under terms of the settlement, NuEworld and Ringgenberg will be permanently enjoined from future violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. In addition, the proposed judgment orders Ringgenberg to pay a civil penalty of $25,000.

Investors are advised to read the SEC's "Cyberspace" Alert before purchasing any investment promoted on the Internet. The free publication, which alerts investors to the telltale signs of online investment fraud, is available on the Investor Assistance and Complaints link of the SEC's Home Page on the World Wide Web It can also be obtained by calling 800-SEC-0330.

Investors are encouraged to report suspicious Internet offerings (or other suspicious offerings) via e-mail to A user friendly form to assist you in making a report is available at the SEC Home Page Investors can also mail a report to SEC's Enforcement Complaint Center, Mail Stop 8-4, 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20549.