U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19214 / May 3, 2005
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Tri Energy, Inc., H & J Energy Company, Inc., Marina Investors Group, Inc., Lowell Decker, Robert Jennings, Henry Jones and Arthur Simburg, as defendants, and La Vie D'Argent, R.P.J. Investment Group, Inc., T.M.A. Investment Enterprises and Thomas Avery, as relief defendants, 0Case No. ED CV 05-00351 (VAP) (Phillips, J.) (C.D. California, filed May 2, 2005)
SEC Obtains TRO To Halt Massive Affinity Fraud And Ponzi Scheme And An Asset Freeze and Other Emergency Relief To Preserve Investor Assets
The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday obtained a temporary restraining order, an asset freeze, and other emergency relief, in a civil action filed against several individuals and entities alleged to be perpetrating an ongoing affinity fraud and Ponzi scheme. According to the Complaint, defendants have defrauded hundreds of investors of over $12 million by promising returns of 100% or more within 60 days. The Complaint alleges that defendants have been telling investors that these extraordinary profits were to be generated in part by helping an unnamed Saudi Arabian prince move gold from Israel through Luxembourg to the United Arab Emirates. In reality, according to the Complaint, although some money has been paid out to investors, these funds appear to have come from new investor money, and substantial amounts of investor funds have been transferred to bank accounts controlled by the proposed defendants and relief defendants. Defendants have characterized the purported gold transaction to religiously devout investors as "deistically inspired" and "divinely guided."
For their roles in the alleged scheme, the SEC charges defendants Tri Energy, Inc., Marina Investors Group, Inc., H & J Energy Company, Lowell Decker, Robert Jennings, Henry Jones and Arthur Simburg with violations of Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC also named as relief defendants La Vie D'Argent, R.P.J. Investment Group, Inc., T.M.A. Investment Enterprises and Thomas Avery, who allegedly receiving investor funds to which they have no legitimate claim.
SEC Complaint in this matter