U.S. SECURITIES & EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 18262 / July 30, 2003
FEDERAL COURT ENTERS ORDER GRANTING SEC'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND ENTERING FINAL JUDGMENT OF PERMANENT INJUNCTION AND OTHER RELIEF AGAINST LOUIS W. RATFIELD
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Louis W. Ratfield, Civil Action No. 03-80197-MIDDLEBROOKS (S. D. Fla., West Palm Beach Division).
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that on July 25, 2003, the Honorable Donald M. Middlebrooks, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, entered an Order Granting the Plaintiff's [SEC's] Motion For Summary Judgment And Entering Final Judgment of Permanent Injunction and Other Relief against Defendant Louis W. Ratfield. The Order permanently enjoins and restrains Ratfield from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act), Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act). The Court also ordered Ratfield to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest in the amount of $48,360.42 and reserved jurisdiction to determine, upon the SEC's motion, any penalty amount.
In its Complaint, the SEC alleged that, from at least 1997 through 2001, Ratfield, a South Florida tax preparer and accountant, raised over $4 million from over 120 investors through the fraudulent unregistered offer and sale of securities in various investment clubs. Ratfield misrepresented to investors that they had earned returns of up to 40% per calendar year, that their investment principal was fully insured from loss and that they could redeem their investments annually. In actuality, most investors did not receive their promised returns or their principal back because Ratfield squandered the majority of investors' funds in risky unsuccessful start-up businesses.