U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23339 / September 9, 2015
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Timothy M. Roberts, Terrance F. Taylor, and Craig Constantinou, Civil Action No. 8:15-cv-2093-T-17-MAP (M.D. Fla., filed September 9, 2015)
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against three defendants, one of whom was previously charged by the SEC with fraud in 2006, for defrauding investors by grossly exaggerating the potential financial success of now-bankrupt Tampa-based technology firm Savtira Corporation.
According to the SEC's complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Timothy M. Roberts and Terrance F. Taylor, Savtira's former CEO and CFO, lied to investors about Savtira's likely profitability, including by misusing a valuation that was predicated on false and misleading revenue projections, and failed to tell investors that Roberts already had a disciplinary history based on his settlement in an earlier and unrelated SEC case against him. Roberts and Taylor described Savtira, in both marketing materials and presentations to investors, as a highly-valued enterprise with patented technology and hundreds of millions of dollars in projected revenues. In reality, however, Savtira was insolvent and had minimal revenues.
Roberts touted his background as an officer of several other ventures, without disclosing that he previously had been charged by the SEC in connection with his activities as CEO of Infinium Labs, Inc., for allegedly hiring a promoter to send faxes to tens of thousands of potential investors regarding Infinium Labs' stock, which falsely made it appear that Infinium Labs was on the verge of launching its flagship product.
The SEC further alleges that Craig Constantinou baselessly promised potential investors astronomical, risk-free returns, despite knowing that Savtira had already defaulted on a promissory note issued to him. The SEC's complaint also alleges that all three defendants illegally sold unregistered securities.
The SEC's complaint charged Roberts, Taylor, and Constantinou with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933; Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"); and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The complaint further alleges that Roberts violated Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act. The SEC's complaint seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, financial penalties, and injunctive relief against Roberts, Taylor, and Constantinou to enjoin them from future violations of the federal securities laws. The complaint also seeks an order barring Roberts and Taylor from serving as an officer or director of a public company.
Separately, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida today announced criminal charges against Roberts and Taylor.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Eric Kirsch of the Miami Regional Office and was supervised by Elisha Frank. Christopher Martin will lead the SEC's litigation. The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.