Securities and Exchange Commission Suspends Trading in Nine Issuers for Failure to Make Required Periodic Filings
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced the temporary suspension of trading in the securities of the following issuers, commencing at 9:30 a.m. EDT on June 23, 2008, and terminating at 11:59 p.m. EDT on July 7, 2008.
The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities of these nine issuers due to a lack of current and accurate information about the companies because they have not filed periodic reports with the Commission in over two 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 suspensions, 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 has 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. 34-57998)
SEC Announces July 9 Roundtable on Fair Value Accounting Standards
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it will host a roundtable on July 9, 2008, to facilitate an open discussion of the benefits and potential challenges associated with existing fair value accounting and auditing standards.
"This roundtable will provide an excellent opportunity for investors, preparers, auditors, regulators and other interested parties to provide the Commission and other observers with input into the usefulness of fair value accounting in the current marketplace," said SEC Chief Accountant Conrad Hewitt.
The roundtable will be organized as two panels. The first panel will discuss fair value accounting issues from the perspective of larger financial institutions and the needs of their investors. The second panel will discuss the issues from the perspective of all public companies, including small public companies, and the needs of their investors.
The panels will include investors, preparers, auditors, regulators and other interested parties. Additionally, representatives from the Financial Accounting Standards Board, International Accounting Standards Board and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board will be present as observers.
The panel discussions with focus on:
The roundtable will be held in the auditorium at the SEC's headquarters at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. A final agenda including a list of participants and moderators will be announced at a future date. The roundtable will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The roundtable discussions also will be available via webcast on the SEC Web site.
The Commission welcomes feedback regarding any of the topics to be addressed at the roundtable. The information that is submitted will become part of the public record of the roundtable. Submissions to the Commission may be provided by any of the following methods:
Electronic submission options:
All submissions should refer to File Number 4-560. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help process and review submissions more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all submissions on its Web site at www.sec.gov.
Please note that all submissions received will be posted without change. The SEC does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. Only information desired to be shared publicly should be submitted. (Press Rel. 2008-117)
SEC Announces $26 Million Fair Fund Distribution in Banc of America Securities LLC Settlement
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the distribution of approximately $26.6 million to more than 250 investors in the Banc of America Securities LLC (BAS) settlement. In March 2007, BAS paid $26 million in disgorgement and penalties to settle SEC charges that the firm published false research on three companies and failed to safeguard its nonpublic research information.
"We are happy to say that through the Fair Fund, we are able to pay BAS customers who purchased Intel, TelCom or E-Stamp stock during the relevant period 100 percent of their actual losses," said Antonia Chion, Associate Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. "We also are pleased that, as the plan provided, we were able to recompense some additional losses suffered by BAS customers."
The Fair Fund provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 provided the SEC with new authority to distribute financial penalties paid by securities law violators directly to injured investors. Using this authority, the SEC already has distributed more than $3.9 billion in Fair Funds. Earlier this year, the SEC created a new office to further expedite Fair Fund distributions to harmed investors.
"The fact that the Commission was able to distribute more than $26 million to injured investors a little more than a year from the date that the BAS Fair Fund was created demonstrates the staff's commitment to assisting injured investors as quickly as possible," said Dick D'Anna, Director of the SEC's Office of Collections and Distributions. "We look forward to distributing more Fair Funds in the future as we continue enhancing our commitment to recovering ill-gotten gains from wrongdoers and returning the money to investors."
In March 2007, the SEC brought settled administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings against BAS, charging that BAS published false research on three companies and failed to safeguard its nonpublic research information. BAS consented to the Commission's Order without admitting or denying the SEC's findings. In addition to paying $26 million in disgorgement and civil penalties, BAS agreed to retain an independent consultant to review the firm's internal controls; and agreed to certify that it had implemented structural and other reforms of its banking and research departments.
The Fair Fund Administrator responsible for the BAS distribution is Rust Consulting, Inc. Investor questions regarding the distribution may be directed to Rust at (800) 760-5467. Information regarding the distribution also can be obtained at http://www.secbassettlement.com.
Distribution Plan: http://www.secbassettlement.com/docs/PlanofDistribution.pdf
Order Approving the Distribution Plan:
March 14, 2007 Order Instituting Administrative and Cease-and-Desist Proceedings:
Order Appointing Fund Administrator and Directing Submission of Proposed Distribution Plan:
For more information, contact: Kara N. Brockmeyer, Assistant Director, SEC's Division of Enforcement, (202) 551-4767. (Press Rel. 2008-118)
Commission Orders Hearings on Registration Suspension or Revocation Against Eleven Companies for Failure to Make Required Periodic Filings
In conjunction with today's trading suspension, the Commission also instituted two separate public administrative proceedings to determine whether to revoke or suspend for a period not exceeding twelve months the registration of each class of the securities of eleven companies for failure to make required periodic filings with the Commission:
In the Matter of Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., et al., Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-13078
In the Matter of Benguet Corp., et al., Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-13079
In each Order, the Division of Enforcement (Division) alleges that the respective respondents are delinquent in their required periodic filings with the Commission.
In each of these proceedings, 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 or 13a-16 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 each proceeding issue an initial decision not later than 120 days from the date of service of the order instituting proceedings. (Rel. 34-57999; File No. 3-13078; File No. 3-13079)
Securities and Exchange Commission Files Subpoena Enforcement Action
Andrew S. Mackey and Inger L. Jensen Fail to Produce Documents or Appear for Testimony Before Commission Staff
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that on June 20, 2008, it filed a subpoena enforcement action in the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against Andrew S. Mackey (Mackey) and Inger L. Jensen (Jensen). Pursuant to subpoenas issued on March 6, 2008, Mackey and Jensen were obligated to produce documents to the staff by March 14, 2008, and appear for testimony at the Atlanta Regional Office of the Commission on April 1, 2008. Neither Mackey nor Jensen produced any documents pursuant to the subpoenas, and neither appeared for testimony as required. Accordingly, the Commission filed its Application for an Order to Show Cause and for an Order Requiring Obedience to Subpoenas, along with a supporting Memorandum and Declaration.
In its Application and supporting filings, the Commission alleges that on Feb. 21, 2008, the Commission issued its Order Directing Private Investigation and Designating Officers to Take Testimony (Formal Order) in the ASM Financial Funding Corporation investigation (ASM). The Formal Order authorizes the staff to conduct an investigation into whether, among other things, Mackey and Jensen, or certain other persons and entities associated with ASM, violated the anti-fraud and securities registration provisions of the federal securities laws.
Pursuant to its Application, the Commission is seeking an Order directing Mackey and Jensen to show cause why the Court should not enter an Order requiring them to appear for testimony and produce the required documents. [SEC v. Andrew S. Mackey and Inger L. Jensen, Civil Action No. 1:08-CV-2068 (N.D. Ga.)] (LR-20627)
Proposed Rule Change
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority filed a proposed rule change (SR-FINRA-2008-016) and Amendment No. 1 thereto under Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to align the reporting requirements and dissemination protocols for OTC equity transactions involving foreign securities with all other OTC Equity Securities. Publication is expected in the Federal Register during the week of June 23. (Rel. 34-57986)
Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Changes
A proposed rule change filed by the International Stock Exchange relating to fee changes (SR-ISE-2008-46) has become effective under Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Publication is expected in the Federal Register during the week of June 23. (Rel. 34-57993)
A proposed rule change filed by the International Securities Exchange (SR-ISE-2008-47) relating to fee changes has become immediately effective under Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Publication is expected in the Federal Register during the week of June 23. (Rel. 34-57991)
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