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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 16824A / January 17, 2001

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. MICHAEL D. RICHMOND, individually, MICHAEL D. RICHMOND d/b/a LIBERTY NETWORK, ROYAL MERIDIAN INTERNATIONAL BANK, MERIDIAN MONETARY SERVICES, INC., WILLIAM DUKE, MERIDIAN MANAGEMENT SERVICES, LLC., K. BRUCE NUCKOLS, ANTHONY GARRY, THOMAS CONNOLLY, AND AS RELIEF DEFENDANTS, ZONE PRODUCTIONS, INC., TERRY KOONTZ AND MARIANNE CLARK AND LINDA MITCHELL as Trustees for PURR TRUST (United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, C.A. No. 98CV11378-NG)

The Commission announced today that, on December 5, 2000, the Honorable Nancy Gertner, United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts, issued a Final Judgment of Permanent Injunction against William Duke ("Duke"), who consented to the relief without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations. The Judgment enjoins Duke from future violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and requires him to repay all ill-gotten gains he received.

The Commission's complaint alleged that Defendant Michael D. Richmond ("Richmond"), of Orland Park, Illinois, used false information and promotional brochures to sell fictitious unregistered International Certificates of Deposit ("AICDs") issued by Defendant Royal Meridian International Bank ("RMIB"), a non-existent bank to raise at least $7.2 million from 185 investors in fourteen different states. Duke, the Commission alleged, operated Defendant Meridian Management Services, LLC, of Clearwater, Florida where RMIB investor funds were collected and processed. Duke also allegedly issued account statements to RMIB investors falsely indicating a 12% and/or 18% annual return and provided false information to sales agents and others concerning RMIB"s operations and the sale of RMIB ICDs.

The Court ordered Duke to disgorge $100,726 of ill-gotten gains, representing money and property he received from his alleged conduct. The disgorgement was partially waived based on Duke's demonstrated inability to pay. Duke was required to relinquish ownership of a 22 foot Bayliner power boat and to disgorge all funds held in bank accounts under his control and frozen by the Court at the initiation of this action in July, 1998. The Court's Judgment did not assess any civil monetary penalties based on Duke's financial condition. Duke is enjoined from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

The litigation is continuing against Richmond, the remaining primary defendant, and two relief defendants. Additionally, on April 6, 2000 a federal grand jury indicted Richmond in connection with the alleged fraudulent scheme, and his criminal trial currently is scheduled to commence on January 22, 2001. For further information, see Litigation Release Nos. 15813, 15892, 16027, 16104 and 16512.

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr16824a.htm

Modified:01/17/2001