U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
SEC Seal
Home | Previous Page
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC News Digest

Issue 2008-209
October 28, 2008


SEC Announces Panelists and Agenda for Mark-to-Market Accounting Roundtable

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the expected panelists for its October 29 roundtable concerning mark-to-market accounting.

The roundtable will be held at the SEC's Washington, D.C., headquarters and will begin at 9 a.m. ET with opening remarks from SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. The roundtable will consist of two panels.

The panel discussions will focus on:

  • Usefulness of mark-to-market accounting to investors and regulators.
  • Effects of mark-to-market accounting on financial reporting by financial institutions.
  • Potential market behavior effects from mark-to-market accounting.
  • Whether aspects of current accounting standards can be improved, and how?

Scheduled panelists include investors, issuers, auditors, and others with experience in mark-to-market accounting by financial institutions:

9:10 a.m. - Panel One:

  • Ray Ball, University of Chicago
  • Vincent Colman, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Scott Evans, TIAA-CREF
  • William Isaacs, former Chairman, FDIC
  • Richard Murray, SwissRe
  • Aubrey Patterson, Bancorp South
  • Damon Silvers, AFL-CIO

11:10 a.m. - Panel Two:

  • Randy Ferrell, Fauquier Bankshares, Inc.
  • Patrick Finnegan, CFA Institute
  • Bradley Hunkler, Western Southern Life
  • Lisa Lindsley, CtW Investment Group
  • Cindy Ma, Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin
  • Chuck Maimbourg, Key Bank
  • Richard Ramsden, Goldman Sachs
  • Russell Wieman, Grant Thornton LLP

In addition, the following individuals are scheduled to participate in both panel discussions as observers:

  • Daniel Goelzer, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
  • Charles Holm, Federal Reserve Board
  • Kristen Jaconi, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Thomas Jones, International Accounting Standards Board
  • Thomas Linsmeier, Financial Accounting Standards Board

The roundtable is expected to conclude at approximately 1 p.m. ET.

The roundtable will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-serve basis. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. ET. Visitors will be subject to security checks.

Live audio and video webcasts as well as materials related to the roundtable will be available on the SEC Web site. (Press Rel. 2008-255)


In the Matter of E-Star Holdings, Inc.

An Administrative Law Judge has issued an Order Making Findings and Revoking Registrations by Default (Default Order) in E-Star Holdings, Inc., Administrative Proceeding No. 3-13201. The Order Instituting Proceedings alleged that six Respondents each failed repeatedly to file required annual and quarterly reports while their securities were registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Default Order finds these allegations to be true. It revokes the registrations of each class of registered securities of E-Star Holdings, Inc., Earful of Books, Inc., East Coast Group Investments, Inc., Ecom Digital Properties, Inc., eHomeOne.com, Inc., and Electro Catheter Corp. pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. (Rel. 34-58867; File No. 3-13201)

Unregistered Broker-Dealer Sentenced to 10 Years Incarceration

The Commission announced today that, on Oct. 22, 2008, the Colorado District Court sentenced Robert Ray White Samples (Samples) of Parker, Colorado, to 10 years incarceration for operating two fraudulent investment schemes that raised more than $1 million from investors, including senior citizens. In August 2008, Samples plead guilty to two counts of securities fraud in the criminal action brought against him by the Colorado Attorney General's securities fraud unit. In addition to the term of incarceration, Samples was ordered to pay restitution of $1.3 million. According to the grand jury indictment, Samples made untrue statements of material fact about how he would invest and otherwise use the investors' money, and diverted investor funds for his personal use.

The criminal action followed the Commission's investigation and civil case against Samples, in which the Commission charged Samples with misappropriating investor funds through the same two fraudulent investment schemes. According to the Commission's complaint, from at least September 2002 through September 2006, Samples, operating through his company, Pot O' Gold Financial Services, LLC (POG), used material misrepresentations to raise at least $1,033,597 from 31 investors, including seniors, in two pooled investments (the civil action). On Oct. 11, 2007, the Court in the civil action entered an order, by consent, granting a preliminary injunction against Samples and POG for violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act, and freezing their assets and ordering an accounting. On December 11, an order was entered in the civil action by consent against Samples permanently enjoining him from future violations of the same provisions of the federal securities laws. Further, on December 27, the Commission issued an order, by consent, barring Samples from association with any broker-dealer and investment adviser based on the entry of the permanent injunction.

For more information see SEC v. Robert Ray White Samples, et al, Civ. No. 07-CV-02081 LTB-CBS (D. Colo.) (LR-20327 / Oct. 11, 2007); In re Robert Ray White Samples, Exchange Act Release No. 57043; Advisers Act Release No. 2687; File No. 3-12912 (Dec. 27, 2007); Colorado v. Robert Ray White Samples, Crim. No. 08-CR-355 (Colo. Dist. Ct., Douglas County) (filed May 21, 2008). [SEC v. Robert Ray White Samples, et al., Civ. No. 07-CV-02081 LTB-CBS (D. Colo.); Colorado v. Robert Ray White Samples, Crim. No. 08-CR-355 (Colo. Dist. Ct., Douglas County)] (LR-20792)

Steven B. Misner, Former CEO and Chairman of Southwestern Water Exploration Co., Enjoined; Court Also Imposes Officer and Director and Penny Stock Bars

The Commission today announced that on Oct. 27, 2008, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado entered a judgment against Steven B. Misner (Misner), the former CEO and Chairman of the now bankrupt Southwestern Water Exploration Company (SWWE). The judgment permanently enjoins Misner from violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws (Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5), and permanently bars Misner from acting as an officer or director of a public company and from participating in the offering of any penny stock. The Court found Misner liable for disgorgement of $104,000 plus prejudgment interest of $43,053. 86, but waived payment of all except $10,000 based on Misner's sworn financial representations. Misner consented to the entry of the judgment without admitting or denying the allegations in the Complaint.

On July 19, 2006, the Commission commenced this action by filing its Complaint against Misner. The Complaint alleged that during 2001 and 2002, Misner made materially false and misleading statements about SWWE's alleged underground water rights in press releases, on the company's Internet website, and to an individual investor. The Complaint also alleged that Misner knew, or was reckless in not knowing, that SWWE had no rights to a Colorado aquifer, exaggerated the amount of water in the aquifer, and inflated the price at which the water could be sold by billions of dollars. [SEC v. Steven B. Misner, (United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Civil Action No. 07-CV-1640-REB-MEH)] (LR-20793)


Eaton Vance Floating-Rate Income Trust, et al.

An order has been issued on an application filed by Eaton Vance Floating-Rate Income Trust, et al. (Funds) under section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act for an exemption from sections 18(a)(1)(A) and 18(a)(1)(B) of the Act for a two-year period immediately following the date of the order. The order permits each Fund to issue debt securities subject to asset coverage of 200% that would be used to refinance the Fund's issued and outstanding auction preferred shares. The order also permits each Fund to declare dividends or any other distributions on, or purchase, capital stock during the term of the order, provided that any class of senior securities representing indebtedness has asset coverage of at least 200% after deducting the amount of such transaction. (Rel. IC-28464 - October 23)

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC, et al.

An order has been issued on an application filed by Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC, et al. to amend a prior order that permits (a) open-end management investment companies whose portfolio securities include equity and/or fixed-income securities of U.S. issuers to issue shares (Shares) redeemable in large aggregations only (Creation Units); (b) secondary market transactions in Shares to occur at negotiated market prices; (c) certain affiliated persons of the series to deposit securities into, and receive securities from, the series in connection with the purchase and redemption of Creation Units; and (d) certain registered management investment companies and unit investment trusts outside of the same group of investment companies as the series to acquire Shares. The amended order permits the open-end management investment companies to offer series investing in foreign equity and fixed-income securities, and allows certain series to pay redemption proceeds more than seven days after the tender of Shares for redemption under certain circumstances. (Rel. IC-28467 - October 27)


Proposed Rule Changes

The Commission issued notice of filing of a proposed rule change (SR-NYSEArca-2008-111) submitted by NYSE Arca proposing to amend NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(6)(v) in order to add the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) futures (VIX Futures) to the definition of futures reference asset. Publication is expected in the Federal Register during the week of October 27. (Rel. 34-58855)

A proposed rule change (SR- FINRA 2008-051) has been filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority regarding a proposal to amend the codes of arbitration procedure (NASD Rules 12214, 12514 and 12904 of the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes and NASD Rules 13214, 13514 and 13904 of the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Industry Disputes) to require arbitrators to provide an explained decision upon the joint request of the parties. Publication is expected in the Federal Register during the week of October 27. (Rel. 34-58862)





Modified: 10/28/2008