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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC News Digest

Issue 2008-114
June 12, 2008


Securities and Exchange Commission Suspends Trading in Harbour Intermodal, Ltd. for Failure to Make Required Periodic Filings

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced the temporary suspension of trading of the securities of the following issuer, commencing at 9:30 a.m. EDT on June 12, 2008 and terminating at 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 25, 2008:

  • Harbour Intermodal, Ltd. (HICC)

The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities of the company due to a lack of current and accurate information about the company because it has not filed periodic reports with the Commission for over seven years. This order was entered pursuant to Section 12(k) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act).

The Commission cautions brokers, dealers, shareholders and prospective purchasers that they should carefully consider the foregoing information along with all other currently available information and any information subsequently issued by this company.

Brokers and dealers should be alert to the fact that, pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 15c2-11, at the termination of the trading suspension, no quotation may be entered relating to the securities of the subject company unless and until the broker or dealer has strictly complied with all of the provisions of the rule. If any broker or dealer is uncertain as to what is required by the rule, it should refrain from entering quotations relating to the securities of this company that have been subject to a trading suspension until such time as it has familiarized itself with the rule and is certain that all of its provisions have been met. Any broker or dealer with questions regarding the rule should contact the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC at (202) 551-5720. If any broker or dealer enters any quotation which is in violation of the rule, the Commission will consider the need for prompt enforcement action.

If any broker, dealer or other person has any information which may relate to this matter, they should immediately communicate it to the Delinquent Filings Branch of the Division of Enforcement at (202) 551-5466, or by e-mail at DelinquentFilings@sec.gov. (Rel. 34-57955)

SEC Staff Recommends Commission Action to Modernize Oil and Gas Reporting Requirements

The Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Corporation Finance and Office of the Chief Accountant announced today that they have prepared for the Commission's consideration recommendations for updating and modernizing the reporting requirements for oil and gas companies.

The Commission's reporting requirements concerning oil and gas reserves were adopted more than 25 years ago. The recommendations that the SEC staff are providing to the Commission reflect the significant changes in the oil and gas industry since adoption of the original reporting requirements, including improved technology and alternate resources. Among other things, the recommended proposals would allow oil and gas companies to provide investors with additional information about their oil and gas reserves.

The SEC staff's recommendations were preceded by a Concept Release issued by the Commission on Dec. 12, 2007, in which the Commission solicited comment on whether changes in the reporting requirements were needed and appropriate. The Commission received approximately 80 comment letters, which were generally supportive of updating the reporting requirements to reflect the changes that have taken place in the industry since adoption of the present requirements. The commenters, in addition to providing support for updating the reporting requirements, also provided a great deal of very helpful input about the specific types of updates needed. The staff considered this input carefully in developing the recommendations for the Commission.

"I am very pleased to be providing the Division's recommendations to the Commission to update our reporting requirements applicable to oil and gas companies," said John White, Director of the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance. "In the decades since adoption of the current requirements, there have been tremendous changes in the way reserves are measured and oil and gas companies do business, which are not yet reflected in our rules. The comments we received on last year's Concept Release were very helpful to us in developing our recommendations to the Commission, and I look forward to the further input we will receive on any proposals issued by the Commission."

Conrad Hewitt, SEC Chief Accountant, said, "This is obviously an important initiative by the staffs of the Division of Corporation Finance and the Office of the Chief Accountant. We are very interested in obtaining feedback from investors as to their views on whether the proposed rules will provide them with the information they need."

Issuance of a rule proposal by the Commission based on staff recommendations would require Commission approval, followed by a public comment period. (Press Rel. 2008-111)


In the Matter of Michael K. Brugman

On June 11, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Administrative and Cease-and-Desist Proceedings Pursuant to Sections 15(b) and 21C of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and Section 9(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (Order) against Michael K. Brugman (Respondent). The Order alleges that from mid-2001 through December 2002, Respondent, who was at that time a securities salesman for Invesco Funds Group, Inc. (IFG), accepted personal payments totaling over $3 million from various entities in exchange for procuring market timing capacity within the Invesco funds. The Order further alleges that Respondent never disclosed these payments to IFG even though, as IFG's agent and fiduciary and pursuant to a written agreement Respondent had with IFG, he had a duty to do so. As a result of this conduct, the Order alleges that Respondent willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

A hearing will be held by an Administrative Law Judge to determine whether the allegations contained in the Order are true, to provide the Respondent an opportunity to dispute these allegations, and to determine what, if any, remedial sanctions are appropriate and in the public interest. The Order requires the Administrative Law Judge to issue an initial decision no later than 300 days from the date of service of the Order, pursuant to Rule 360(a)(2) of the Commission's Rules of Practice. (Rels. 34-57947; IA-2743; IC-28299; File No. 3-13063)

Commission Orders Hearings on Registration Revocation Against Two Delinquent Companies for Failure to Make Required Periodic Filings

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today instituted public administrative proceedings against the following two companies to determine whether the registration of each class of their securities should be revoked or suspended for a period not exceeding twelve months for failure to file required periodic reports:

  • American Ship Building Co.
  • Harbour Intermodal, Ltd.

In this Order, the Division of Enforcement (Division) alleges that the two issuers are delinquent in their required periodic filings with the Commission.

In this proceeding, instituted pursuant to Exchange Act Section 12(j), a hearing will be scheduled before an Administrative Law Judge. At the hearing, the judge will hear evidence from the Division and the respondents to determine whether the allegations of the Division contained in the Order, which the Division alleges constitute failures to comply with Exchange Act Section 13(a) and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder, are true. The judge in the proceeding will then determine whether the registrations pursuant to Exchange Act Section 12 of the securities of these respondents should be revoked or suspended for a period not exceeding twelve months. The Commission ordered that the Administrative Law Judge in this proceeding issue an initial decision not later than 120 days from the date of service of the order instituting proceedings.

For further information see the Order of Suspension of Trading, In the Matter of Harbour Intermodal, Ltd., File No. 500-1. (Rel. 34-57956; File No. 3-13065)

Final Judgment Entered as to Steven Sirianni Following Jury Trial

The Commission announced that on June 10, 2008, the Honorable Victor Marrero, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, entered a Final Judgment as to Defendant Steven Sirianni, enjoining him from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 15(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Defendant Sirianni was also ordered to pay $75,800 in disgorgement, $23,020.37 in prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty of $110,000. On April 10, 2008, following a jury trial, a jury rendered a verdict against Sirianni for all violations charged in the Commission's Complaint.

The Commission's Complaint, filed on Nov. 14, 2006, alleged that between October 2003 and March 2004, Sirianni received $75,800 in undisclosed compensation to solicit customer purchases of World Information Technology, Inc. (World Information) stock. Between August 25 and Dec. 24, 2003, Sirianni solicited purchases of World Information stock from twelve brokerage customers. Those twelve customers purchased a total of 106,900 World Information shares.

Sirianni, age 59, is a resident of Wausau, Wisconsin. Between March 2003 and October 2004, he was a stock broker with Berthel, Fisher & Company Financial Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer located in Wausau, Wisconsin.

Previously, on May 2, 2007, the Court entered default judgments against Sirianni's co-defendants World Information Technology, Inc. and Gary Morgan. Litigation Release No. 20109 (May 10, 2007). On May 31, 2007, the Court entered a partial consent judgment against remaining co-defendant Ira Dicapua. Litigation Release No. 20149 (June 12, 2007). For further information, see Litigation Release No. 19910 (Nov. 15, 2006). [SEC v. World Information Technology, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 06-CV-13181 (VM) (S.D.N.Y.)] (LR-20615)

SEC v. Edgar E. Chapman

The Commission announced that on June 11, 2008, it filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia against Edgar E. Chapman (Chapman). Chapman is a resident of Woodland, Georgia. The Complaint alleges violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and seeks a permanent injunction and a civil money penalty.

The Complaint alleges that Chapman, Jr., engaged in numerous wash trades and other manipulative activity that Chapman conducted between January and August 2005 in the common stock of First Community Bank of Georgia (FCBG). During these eight months, FCBG shares were traded over the counter and quoted on the OTC Bulletin Board. Because the shares were thinly traded, Chapman's wash trades significantly inflated both the price and volume for FCBG shares. At a minimum, Chapman knew or recklessly ignored that his trading activity dramatically inflated both the volume and, occasionally, the price for FCBG shares. An injunction is particularly appropriate in this matter because Chapman continued to enter wash trades, albeit less frequently, after (1) his brokerage firm warned him that the conduct was illegal and ultimately required him to transfer his accounts and (2) the Enforcement staff expressed concerns to him that his wash trades distorted the market for FCBG shares. [SEC v. Edgar E. Chapman, Civil Action No. 4:08-CV-77 (CDL) (M.D.GA] (LR-20616)


Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change

A proposed rule change (SR-NASDAQ-2008-051) filed by the NASDAQ Stock Market relating to the listing and trading on the exchange of options on the SPDR Gold Trust has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Publication is expected in the Federal Register during the week of June 16. (Rel. 34-57945)





Modified: 06/12/2008