SEC Announces 100 Percent Return of Funds to Defrauded Concorde America and Absolute Health Investors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., April 14, 2009 — Investors who were defrauded by schemes involving Concorde America, Inc. and Absolute Health and Fitness, Inc. will be receiving all of their money back due to the efforts of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The checks, which will be distributed beginning as early as April 15, will total nearly $3.5 million and go to 1,355 investors who were harmed by the fraudulent promotion of the stock of the two companies.
In February 2005, the Commission sued the two companies and several individuals in U.S. District Court in Miami in connection with related pump-and-dump schemes. At the time, the Commission obtained emergency restraining orders to freeze the defendants' assets.
In addition to the funds that the Commission obtained as a result of the asset freeze, the Fair Fund distribution includes subsequent disgorgement and civil money penalties paid by some of the defendants. Proceeds of fraudulent trading by some of the parties were traced to accounts in a bank in the Netherlands Antilles and repatriated.
"We have been able to return all of the investors' losses because our emergency actions allowed us to quickly freeze assets and trace the funds to offshore accounts," said David Nelson, Director of the SEC's Miami Regional Office.
"The SEC is committed to pursuing wrongdoers and returning lost funds to harmed investors to the greatest extent possible," said Dick D'Anna, Director of the SEC's Office of Collections and Distributions.
In the Fair Funds provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Congress gave the SEC increased authority to distribute ill-gotten gains and civil money penalties to harmed investors. To date, the Commission has returned more than $4 billion to investors through Fair Fund distributions.
In the SEC's enforcement action against Concorde America and Absolute Health and Fitness, the Commission obtained permanent injunctions by consent, default, or summary judgment against all of the defendants, including both companies. The Commission also obtained final judgments of disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties against some of the defendants, and continues to pursue final judgments against Concorde America and its president.
The investors receiving distributions today bought Concorde America and Absolute Health stock during fraudulent touting periods from June to December 2004.
Questions regarding the Fair Fund distribution may be directed to the court-appointed distribution agent, Melanie E. Damian, Esq. by:
Visiting the Fair Fund's Web site at http://www.concordeabsolutehealthfund.com
Calling toll-free 1-877-523-6365
Writing to Melanie E. Damian, Esq. at either Damian & Valori LLP, 1000 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1020, Miami, FL 33131 or c/o Global Risk Solutions, Inc., P.O. Box 310130, Miami, FL 33231.
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