U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Litigation Release No. 18630 / March 19, 2004
Securities and Exchange Commission v. John Benjamin Stewart, Jr., Stewart Finance Company, Stewart National Finance Company, Donald N. Ellis and D&E Acquisitions, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:03-CV-42 (CAR) (M.D. Ga.).
SEC OBTAINS PERMANENT INJUNCTION AND OTHER RELIEF AGAINST DONALD N. ELLIS, OWNER OF D&E ACQUISITIONS, INC.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (the "Commission") announced that on March 15, 2004, the Honorable C. Ashley Royal of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, entered an order of permanent injunction and other relief against Donald N. Ellis ("Ellis") of Union Point, Georgia for engaging in an unlawful offering of securities, for which no exemption from registration existed, through his solely owned company D&E Acquisitions, Inc. ("D&E") based in Greene County, Georgia. Judge Royal's order permanently enjoined Ellis from further violating the registration provisions set forth in Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933. Ellis consented to the entry of the order without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission's first amended complaint. Ellis was ordered to pay disgorgement, prejudgment interest and a civil penalty in amounts to be resolved upon motion of the Commission at a later date.
The Commission sued Ellis and D&E along with John Benjamin Stewart, Jr. ("Stewart"), Stewart Finance Company ("Stewart Finance") and Stewart National Finance Company ("Stewart National"). The amended complaint alleged that Stewart and his companies, Stewart Finance and Stewart National, previously engaged in a series of unregistered offers and sales of securities, without an exemption from registration, in violation of the federal securities laws, and further alleged that Stewart, for his own benefit, caused D&E to be formed through Ellis, a straw man, for the purpose of allowing securities previously issued by Stewart Finance and Stewart National to be rolled over and issued through D&E. The offering through D&E, which unlawfully raised approximately $6 million, constituted an unregistered offering of securities, which was integrated with the earlier unregistered, non-exempt offerings.