SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 15733 / May 7, 1998
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. GOLDEN EAGLE INTERNATIONAL, INC., RONALD A. KNITTLE, MARY A. ERICKSON, GREGORY G. VERNON, TIMBERLINE CONSULTANTS, INC., AND PAUL B. VERNON, Civil Action No. 98-Z-1020 (D. Colo.)
The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed a micro-cap market fraud case involving the securities of Golden Eagle International, Inc., a mining company headquartered in the Denver, Colorado area. Named as defendants are Golden Eagle, its president Ronald A. Knittle, a director and wife of Knittle, Mary A. Erickson, Gregory Vernon and his company Timberline Consultants, Inc., who acted as public relations consultants to Golden Eagle, and Paul B. Vernon. All of the Defendants reside in the Denver, Colorado area.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that Golden Eagle, Knittle, Erickson, Gregory Vernon, and Timberline Consultants engaged in a scheme to falsely tout the stock of Golden Eagle from late 1994 through mid-1996 in a series of public statements making unfounded claims concerning Golden Eagle's mining business. As a result of the scheme, Golden Eagle stock traded at prices as high as $6.25 per share in the over-the-counter markets. At the same time, Golden Eagle realized at least $662,000 from the sale of its stock into the markets.
The complaint also alleges Golden Eagle made false filings with the Commission, and was delinquent in its filings with the Commission, and failed to keep required books and records. The complaint further alleges that all defendants except Golden Eagle sold unregistered Golden Eagle stock. It charges that defendant Paul Vernon acted as a nominee of Knittle in connection with the sale of unregistered Golden Eagle stock and along with Knittle, filed a false schedule 13D concerning his ownership of Golden Eagle stock.
The Complaint seeks orders permanently enjoining: Golden Eagle, Knittle, Erickson, Timberline, Greg Vernon and Paul Vernon from violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5; Golden Eagle, Knittle, Erickson, and Paul Vernon from violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"); Timberline and Greg Vernon from violations of Section 17(b) of the Securities Act; Knittle, Erickson, Timberline, Greg Vernon, and Paul Vernon from violations of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act; Golden Eagle, Knittle, and Erickson from violations of Sections 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A), and 13(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Exchange Act and Rules 13a-1, 13a-11, 13a-13 and 12b-20; and Knittle and Paul Vernon from violations of Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act and Rule 13d-1.
The complaint also seeks accounting from Knittle and Erickson; disgorgement from Knittle, Erickson, Timberline and Greg Vernon, and penalties against all defendants except Golden Eagle.
Simultaneously with the filing of the compliant the Commission brought administrative and cease and desist proceedings against Alfred Peeper, Charles F. Kirby, Gene C. Geiger, and Edward H. Price in connection with an unregistered distribution of Golden Eagle stock. (See Securities Act of 1933 Release No. 7538)