U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 17573 / June 18, 2002
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION V. MARK GATCH AND HENRY BENJAMIN SCHMIDT, Case No. C-1-97-599 (SSB) (S.D. Ohio, W.D.)
NEW YORK -- The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on June 11, 2002, the Honorable Sandra S. Beckwith of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio issued an order holding Henry Benjamin Schmidt in contempt of Court for failure to make monthly disgorgement payments of $2,333.00, resulting from a disgorgement judgement of $2.9 million. Under the terms of Judge Beckwith's order Schmidt is required to deposit $48,933.00 into the Court's Registry by July 11, 2002, or be immediately incarcerated. Schmidt, age 68, resides in St. Petersburg, Florida. Schmidt co-founded, owned, and operated Ben Mar Investments, Inc. ("Ben Mar"), an unregistered investment adviser in the Greater Cincinnati area. Ben Mar effectively operated as a Ponzi scheme from 1992 through March 1995, resulting in investor losses in excess of $12 million. Mark Gatch, the co-founder and owner of Ben Mar, of Amelia, Ohio, previously settled the Commission's civil action against him, and was sentenced to a five-year prison term in connection with his operation of Ben Mar.
For further information, see Litigation Release No. 15394 (June 25, 1997), Litigation Release No. 15530 (October 7, 1997) and Litigation Release No. 16618 (July 3, 2000).