U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Litigation Release No. 17823 / November 1, 2002
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Rajiv Vohra, Sean T. Healey, Lantern Investments, Ltd., Lipton Holdings, Ltd., and Beaufort Holdings, Ltd., United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Civil Action No. 00-7286-Civ-Seitz/Garber
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that an application for an order to show cause why defendant Rajiv Vohra (Vohra) should not be held in civil contempt was filed by the Commission on October 25, 2002, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, based on his failure to pay disgorgement and civil penalties, as directed by the Court's January 15, 2002 default judgment order. That order enjoined Vohra from violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Court ordered Vohra to pay disgorgement in the amount of $598,911.55, prejudgment interest of $134,394.01, and a civil penalty of $110,000.
On September 5, 2000, the Commission alleged in its Complaint that Vohra, Sean T. Healey (Healey), and three Bahamian companies, Lantern Investments, Ltd., Lipton Holdings, Ltd., and Beaufort Holdings, Ltd., used "wash sales" to create the appearance of active trading in the stock of New Directions Manufacturing, Inc. (New Directions), a small furniture manufacturing company. The Complaint alleged that Vohra and Healey also arranged to have a false and misleading research report published on a stock-picker web site, on their own web site, and through unsolicited mass e-mails (spam). The research report falsely claimed that New Directions had significantly expanded, that the author of the report was an independent analyst, and that the purported analyst had issued a buy recommendation. Vohra and Healey attempted to conceal their scheme by conducting much of their activity through Canadian brokerage accounts and the Bahamian companies.
For tips on how to avoid Internet "pump-and-dump" stock manipulation schemes, visit http://www.sec.gov/investor/online/pump.htm. For more information about Internet fraud, visit http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/internetenforce.htm. To report suspicious activity involving possible Internet fraud, visit http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml.