Litigation Release No. 20416 / December 27, 2007

SEC v. Navigators International Management Co., Ltd., James R. Spurger and Benjamin W. Young, Jr., Case No 4:07-cv-04518 (S.D. Texas)

SEC Charges Navigators International Management Co., Ltd., James R. Spurger and Benjamin W. Young, Jr. with Conducting Fraudulent and Unregistered Securities Offerings

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") announced that on December 26, 2007, it filed a civil action in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, charging Navigators International Management Co., Ltd. ("Navigators"), James R. Spurger and Benjamin W. Young, Jr. with securities fraud, conducting unregistered securities offerings and acting as unregistered broker-dealers.

The Commission's complaint alleges that Navigators, a Bahamian company, through principals Spurger and Young, orchestrated two fraudulent securities offerings. The complaint also claims that Navigators, through Spurger and Young, is conducting an ongoing offering of unregistered securities. Spurger lives in the Houston area, while Young is a U.S. citizen living in El Salvador. According to the complaint,

  • In late 2005, Navigators, Spurger and Young solicited investors to participate in an unregistered and fraudulent bond funding program whereby over $1 million was raised from investors and pooled to purchase a bond. The bond was to be used to secure a larger line of credit, which investors were told would fund the repayment of their principal and provide large returns. Investors were assured that their money was safe and collateralized. Yet, the bond that was purchased turned out to be a counterfeit, and the investors have not received any of the promised profits or return of principal.
  • In the summer of 2007, Navigators offered stock in an unaffiliated company through the Internet. This offering was not registered. In the solicitations, Navigators, Spurger, and Young made material misrepresentations about the issuer's current and future business contracts.
  • In an ongoing offering, Navigators sells unregistered "ZCASH" electronic tokens on its website. Navigators promises exorbitant returns and rebates to be generated in an unspecified manner and timeframe when customers use ZCASH to purchase items on the Navigators' website.

The complaint also alleges that one or more of the defendants acted as an unregistered broker in each of these three offerings. According to the complaint, Navigators, Spurger and Young violated Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The complaint seeks a judgment permanently enjoining Navigators, Spurger and Young from violating these provisions of the securities laws and ordering all three to pay civil penalties and provide an accounting of, and disgorge, ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest.