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Securities and Exchange Commission

Litigation Release No. 17173 / October 4, 2001

SEC Alleges Fraud against Unregistered Broker-Dealer Operating in Boca Raton, Florida in Connection with Securities Offering

Securities And Exchange Commission v. Global Asset Partners, Ltd., Global Services Group, LLC, Global Internet Fund Group, Inc., William L. Haynes and Relief Defendant, Centurion International, LLC, Case No. 01-8862-CIV-MIDDLEBROOKS (S.D. Fla., filed Sept. 28, 2001).

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") announced that on October 1, 2001, it obtained permanent injunctive relief in connection with an alleged fraudulent securities offering conducted in Boca Raton, Florida by Global Asset Partners, Ltd., Global Services Group, LLC, and Global Internet Fund Group, Inc. ("Global"). Among other things, the SEC's complaint, filed on September 28, 2001, alleges that since at least May 1999, Global, through a network of sales agents, made material misrepresentations to investors and prospective investors located worldwide to induce them to purchase so-called pre-initial-public-offering ("pre-IPO") stock and exchange-traded securities. Specifically, the SEC's complaint alleges that Global misrepresented when companies could be expected to go public, the price the pre-IPO stock would trade at upon becoming public, the method by which investor accounts were maintained and its track record concerning its operations and expertise. The complaint further alleges that Global and the named individual defendant, William L. Haynes ("Haynes"), raised at least $7 million from defrauded investors.

Simultaneously with the filing of the complaint, Global, Haynes and Centurion, without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, consented to all of the relief requested by the SEC with only the amount of disgorgement and penalties to be determined. Thereafter, the Honorable Donald M. Middlebrooks of the United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida entered an order permanently restraining and enjoining Global and Haynes from future violations of the registration and anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The Court also entered orders freezing Global's and Haynes' assets, freezing the assets of relief defendant Centurion International, LLC ("Centurion"), appointing a Receiver over Global, and granting other emergency relief. The SEC's complaint seeks disgorgement from Global, Haynes and Centurion so that funds may be returned to the defrauded investors.

According to the SEC's complaint, filed on September 28, 2001, the defendants have fraudulently raised at least $7 million from at least 300 investors located in the U.S. and abroad. Among other things, the SEC's complaint alleges that the defendants:

  • operated out of their Boca Raton, Florida offices, employing a network of sales agents who used "lead lists" containing the names of professionals in foreign countries and the U.S., to make unsolicited telephone calls to prospective investors during which the sales agents offered investors the opportunity to purchase either well-known, exchange-traded securities or pre-IPO stock;
     
  • misleadingly told investors that the issuers of the private securities would engage in an IPO in the next one to six month at an offering price of two to three times the price defendants were offering the stock;
     
  • sold securities to investors with mark-ups between approximately 800% - 1,600% from the price that defendants paid for the securities;
     
  • misrepresented to investors that it would sell them certain exchange-traded securities and, instead, misappropriated funds that investors sent for the purchase of those securities;
     
  • falsely told investors that they invested in several successful IPOs involving internet companies; and
     
  • significantly exaggerated the expertise of its sales agents.

Upon the SEC's motion, the Court appointed Jane W. Moscowitz, a partner in the law firm of Moscowitz Starkman & Magolnick as Receiver over Global. Among other things, Ms. Moscowitz is responsible for taking control of Global and for marshaling and safeguarding its assets.

The Court's order permanently restrains and enjoins Global and Haynes from from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 [15 U.S.C. §§ 77e(a), 77e(c) and 77q] and Sections 10(b) and 15(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 [15 U.S.C. §§ 78j(b) and 78o(a)(1)] and Rule 10b-5 thereunder [17 C.F.R. 240.10b-5]. Those sections and rules prohibit certain sales of securities not registered with the Commission, prohibit fraud in the offer and sale, and in connection with the purchase and sale, of securities, and prohibit acting as a broker or dealer while not registered with the Commission.

The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the Central Bank of Ireland and the Securities Commission of the Bahamas with this matter.

 

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr17173.htm


Modified: 10/05/2001