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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission


LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 18495 / December 9, 2003

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. BIG COUNTRY AGS, INC. et al., Civil Action No. 3:02-CV-606-L [USDC/NDTX/Dallas Division]


The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that on November 24, 2003, the Honorable Sam A. Lindsay, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, entered an order of civil contempt against defendant John R. Temple for his failure to pay an outstanding final judgment of $222,840, entered against Temple on April 30, 2002. After a hearing, the Court ordered Temple to purge himself of civil contempt by paying into the Court's Registry $100,000 by January 30, 2004. Alternatively, the Court ordered Temple to assign or transfer his interest in certain parcels of land, a vehicle and a coin collection to a court-appointed special master. The Court further stated that Temple's failure to comply with the terms of the final judgment or the order of civil contempt may result in his incarceration or other sanctions.

Previously, Temple and three other individuals consented to the entry of a final judgment in a Commission action alleging that the individual defendants and two companies, Big Country AGS, Inc. and Africa Gemstone Corporation, sold unregistered securities and misled investors in connection with an international gold trading deal. According to the Commission's Complaint, between February 2000 and January 2001, the defendants raised over $1.3 million by offering and selling unregistered promissory notes to investors in several states, and made false and misleading claims, and failed to disclose material facts, about the risks of the investment and the results the investors could expect.

Simultaneously with the filing of the action, the Commission accepted an offer of settlement from AGS, Temple and two other defendants, in which those defendants agreed, without admitting or denying the allegations in the Complaint, to the entry of an order enjoining them from further violations of the securities laws; to pay civil money penalties of $20,000 each; and to pay disgorgement of $200,000 in illegal profits, plus $22,840 in prejudgment interest. AGS, Temple and the other settling defendants also agreed to pay the costs of disbursing the disgorged profits and prejudgment interest to the bona fide holders of AGS promissory notes on a pro rata basis.


Modified: 12/10/2003