SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No.17211 / October 30, 2001
Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 1474
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION V. RICHARD P. SMYTH, ARNOLD E. JOHNS, JR., MICHAEL J. BECKER AND ALAN T. DAVIS, Civil Action No. 1:01-CV-1344 (N.D. Ga.)
SEC OBTAINS PERMANENT INJUNCTION AGAINST MICHAEL J. BECKER
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") announced today that on October 11, 2001, the Honorable Clarence Cooper of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia entered an order of permanent injunction and other relief against Michael J. Becker ("Becker") of Marietta, Georgia for engaging in violations of the antifraud provisions of the securities laws during his tenure as chief financial officer of Vista 2000, Inc. ("Vista"), a now defunct consumer products company formerly headquartered in Roswell, Georgia. Judge Cooper's order permanently enjoined Becker from further violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Becker was ordered to pay disgorgement and pre-judgment interest in amounts to be resolved upon motion of the Commission at a later date. Becker consented to the entry of the order, without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission's complaint.
The Securities and Exchange Commission previously sued Becker and three other men for various violations of the federal securities law. The other defendants are Arnold E. Johns, Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia, Alan T. Davis of Gainesville, Georgia and Richard P. Smyth of Fernandina Beach, Florida. Like Becker, Johns and Smyth are former officers of Vista. Johns was a director of Vista and its president, and Smyth was Vista's founder and chief executive officer. Davis was Vista's outside auditor. The litigation is continuing as to Johns and Davis. Smyth was previously enjoined by separate order of the court.
The Commission's complaint alleged a wide-range of securities law violations, including that misstatements were made by Vista in filings with the Commission. The allegations against Becker included that he recorded various transactions at Vista in contravention of generally accepted accounting principles, and engaged in insider trading in Vista securities at a time when Vista's revenues, income, earnings per share, and assets were overstated.