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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

United States Securities and Exchange Commission

LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 16849 / January 2, 2001

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Benjamin Franklin Cook et al.
#3-99CV05701-R, USDC, NDTX (Dallas Division)

On December 20, 2000, the Honorable Jerry Buchmeyer, U.S. District Judge, Northern District of Texas, entered a Final Judgment as to Relief Defendant C. Kelly Olsen. The Final Judgment orders Olsen to pay disgorgement in the amount of $1,827,933, plus prejudgment interest in the amount of $333,990.

In its Complaint, filed March 16, 1999, the Commission alleged that Olsen was unjustly enriched as a result of his participation in a fraudulent Ponzi scheme involving the offer and sale of nonexistent "prime bank" securities. The fraudulent scheme, developed and operated chiefly by Defendant Benjamin Franklin Cook, doing business as Dennel Finance Limited, raised more than $45 million from approximately 300 investors throughout the United States. Judge Buchmeyer previously entered a final judgment against Cook enjoining him from further violations of the federal securities laws, ordering him to pay disgorgement in the amount of $36,724,494 plus prejudgment interest of $5,616,807, and imposing a civil penalty of $110,000 on him. Cook was also indicted August 30, 2000 by an Arizona grand jury on 37 counts of racketeering, fraud and theft in connection with the Dennel scheme.

Since May 10, 2000, Olsen had been incarcerated at Seagoville Federal Detention Center in Seagoville, Texas, after Judge Buchmeyer issued a contempt order against him for violating the Court's orders freezing Olsen's assets and requiring him to turn assets over to a court-appointed receiver. On December 12, 2000, Olsen finally purged himself of contempt by providing the Commission and the receiver with a detailed statement, under oath, concerning his present assets and his use of Dennel investor funds. Simultaneously with the entry of the Final Judgment against Olsen, Judge Buchmeyer issued an order releasing Olsen from incarceration.

Unscrupulous promoters continue to victimize the public with Prime Bank schemes. Investors are advised to access the Commission's "Prime Bank" Investor Alert which provides tips on how to avoid being a victim of these scams. The investor alert can be found on the Commission's web site, at www.sec.gov/pbank/pbnkhome.htm.