U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 18421 / October 22, 2003
UNITED STATES v. JOHN E. COLLINS (U.S.D.C., Western District of Oklahoma, Criminal Action No. CR-03-033-1-F)
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. GARRY W. STROUD, INDIVIDUALLY AND D/B/A DIAMOND GLOBAL HOLDING TRUST, EURO CREDIT AND EXCHANGE BANK LTD., AND ANGELIC INTERNATIONAL, et al. (U.S.D.C. Western District of Oklahoma, Civil Action No. CIV-01-999-W)
On October 1, 2003, Judge Stephen P. Friot, United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma, sentenced John E. Collins to a term of 71 months in federal prison, plus three years supervised release, and ordered him to pay $290,000 in restitution in connection with his obstructing an SEC investigation and willful violation of a court ordered asset freeze.
Collins previously entered into a plea agreement with the United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma pursuant to which he pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice and one count of wire fraud. These violations are the subject of the Commission's civil contempt proceedings against Collins in the Western District of Oklahoma.
In its contempt action, the Commission alleged that Collins had willfully violated the terms of an asset freeze order entered against Garry W. Stroud and aided and abetted Stroud in violating the terms of the asset freeze order. On November 18, 2002, Judge Lee R. West, United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma, found Collins in civil contempt and ordered him to turn over $187,000 in property obtained from Stroud both before and after the entry of the asset freeze order. In response to Judge West's order to turn over funds and property to the receiver in the Stroud case, Collins faxed to the receiver's office a bogus promissory note allegedly signed by a third-party agreeing to pay the money due under the contempt order. Simultaneously with his efforts to deceive the receiver, Collins raised an additional $100,000 from other victims in a separate scheme. As a consequence of the bogus promissory note, and his failure to comply with the contempt order, Judge West ordered Collins incarcerated to coerce his compliance. At the time of his incarceration, the FBI swore out a criminal complaint against Collins, which ultimately led to his plea.