U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19168 / April 6, 2005
Securities and Exchange Commission v. James L. George, Paul E. Brodhagen, and Michael J. Wright, United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Civil Action No. 1:02-CV-3310-HTW
FEDERAL COURT ORDERS DISGORGEMENT, PREJUDGMENT INTEREST AND CIVIL PENALTIES, AND ENTERS FINAL JUDGMENT AGAINST MICHAEL J. WRIGHT
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") announced today that the Honorable Horace T. Ward, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, entered an Order Imposing Disgorgement and Prejudgment Interest, and Entering Final Judgment Against Michael J. Wright ("Wright") on March 31, 2005. The order directed that Wright pay disgorgement in the amount of $61,329, and prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $22,688. The order also directed that Wright pay a civil penalty of $5,000. The order directed payment within 60 days from the entry of the final judgment. The court previously enjoined Wright from further violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, on February 20, 2003. Wright consented to the entry of the final judgment without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission's complaint.
The Commission's complaint alleged that James L. George ("George"), Paul E. Brodhagen ("Brodhagen") and Wright , while acting as Facilitators in Tri-Star Investment Group, L.L.C. ("Tri-Star"), fraudulently offered and sold unregistered securities, as part of a larger scheme in which Louis M. Lazorwitz ("Lazorwitz"), J. Charles Reives ("Reives") and Tri-Star sold securities interests in Tri-Star to over 900 investors in at least 35 states, and raised $15 million. Tri-Star, through Lazorwitz and Reives, initially represented that Tri-Star would invest in bank debentures and later claimed that it might invest in other international trade opportunities. The complaint also alleged that George, Brodhagen and Wright offered and sold Tri-Star directly and led investors to expect profits of 20% per month in so-called 13-month trading programs, after an initial 90-day waiting period, but that the defendants lacked a reasonable basis to project such profits.
See also L. R. 17918 (January 7, 2003); L.R. 17994 (February 24, 2003); L.R. 18494 (December 8, 2003)
See also (as to related case cited herein): L.R. 17728 (September 16, 2002); L.R. 17516 (May 14, 2002); L.R. 17317 (January 16, 2002)