U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23389 / October 21, 2015
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Premiere Power, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 15-CV-1248 (KF) (S.D.N.Y.)
SEC Obtains Default Judgments Granting Full Relief Sought Against Purported Energy Company and Its Chairman in Offering Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that, on October 9, 2015, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered default judgments against Premiere Power, LLC and its Chairman Jerry Jankovic for violating the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws by failing to inform investors that they were using more than half of the funds raised to defend an unrelated lawsuit and by making other false and misleading disclosures in the offering materials provided to investors. The Court granted the Commission’s request for permanent injunctions against Premiere and Jerry Jankovic, held them jointly and severally liable for disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, and ordered them to pay civil penalties.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that soon after forming Premiere, a company purportedly pursuing energy-related projects on Native American land, Jerry Jankovic and his son, CEO John Jankovic, agreed to divert about half of the funds raised from investors in Premiere to cover the costs of an unrelated lawsuit pending against Jerry Jankovic and a business associate, Sandra Dyche. As a result of this agreement, the Jankovics and Dyche allegedly diverted $1 million out of a total of $1.95 million raised for Premiere. The SEC alleged that in addition to misleading Premiere investors about how their funds would be used, Premiere made misrepresentations to investors about its affiliates, board membership, its auditor, and about Jerry Jankovic’s “proven track record” of creating “successful” energy companies.
Neither Premiere nor Jerry Jankovic answered the Commission’s complaint. On October 9, 2015, United States District Judge Katherine Polk Failla entered default judgments against them. The final judgments, which granted the full relief the Commission’s complaint sought from Premiere and Jerry Jankovic, (1) permanently enjoin them from violating the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws; (2) permanently enjoin Jerry Jankovic from directly or indirectly soliciting or accepting funds from any person or entity in an unregistered offering of securities; (3) order them to disgorge, jointly and severally, $950,000 in ill-gotten gains, together with prejudgment interest of $187,523.31, for total disgorgement of $1,137,523.31; and (4) order Premiere to pay a civil penalty of $1,450,000 and Jerry Jankovic to pay a civil penalty of $300,000.
The SEC’s litigation is continuing against John Jankovic. The SEC previously settled its charges against Dyche.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by James Blenko and Ian Rupell. The SEC’s litigation is being led by Beth Collier Groves.