U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19350 / August 26, 2005
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION V. GRANT R. CURTIS, ET AL., Case No. 99 CIV 7357 (NG) E.D.N.Y.
CONSENT JUDGMENTS ENTERED AGAINST DEFENDANTS GRANT CURTIS, RAIMOND IRNI, LILLIAN VINCI, AND ANNE MARIE NOEL
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that in July 2002, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered final consent judgments against defendants Grant Curtis, Raimond Irni, Lillian Vinci, and Anne Marie Noel. Curtis, Irni, Vinci, and Noel were each enjoined from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Additionally, Curtis and Irni were enjoined from violations of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act. Curtis was further enjoined from violations of Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act and Rules 13d-1 thereunder, Exchange Act Rule 13b2-1, and, as a "control person" pursuant to Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act, Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rules 12b-20, 13a-1 and 13a-13.
In addition, the Court permanently barred Curtis from serving as an officer or director of a public company.
The Court also ordered Curtis to pay $7,819,270 representing disgorgement of his ill-gotten gain, and prejudgment interest, obtained as a result of his alleged conduct, but waived payment of that amount based upon Curtis' sworn representations of his financial condition. For the same reason, the Court did not order Curtis to pay a civil money penalty. The Court ordered Irni to pay $200,000 representing disgorgement of his ill-gotten gain, and prejudgment interest, obtained as a result of his alleged conduct, but waived payment of that amount based upon Irni's sworn representations of his financial condition. For the same reason, the Court did not order Irni to pay a civil money penalty.
The Court ordered Vinci to pay disgorgement of her ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest in the amount of $84,500, but waived payment of all but $32,500, and waived payment of a civil penalty, based upon Vinci's sworn representations regarding her financial condition. The Court ordered Noel to pay disgorgement of her ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest in the amount of $32,500, but waived payment of all but $9,500, and waived payment of a civil penalty, based upon Noel's sworn representations regarding her financial condition.
The Commission filed its action against Curtis, Irni, Vinci, Noel, and thirteen other defendants on November 10, 1999. The Commission's Complaint alleges that, from 1994 through 1996, Curtis and others exercised undisclosed control over three public companies, Windswept Environmental Group, Inc., ICIS Management Group, Inc. and Pilot Transport, Inc. Using that control, they caused these companies to issue more than eight million shares of stock, in most cases for little or no consideration, to various nominees, and then caused over five million shares of that stock, all of which was unregistered or improperly registered, to be sold to the public. The scheme generated illicit proceeds of more than $8 million. Vinci, Noel and other brokers retailed the fraudulently issued stock to the public and received undisclosed kickbacks. Irni participated in arranging and making the undisclosed kickback payments various brokerage firms to retail the stock to the public.
Previously, defendants Timothy Masley, Jonathan Lyons, Leo Mangan, James W. Nearen, Pedro Dibrito Gomez, Donald E. Kessler, David R. Behanna, Andrea Varsi, and Kenneth A. Orr consented to the entry of final judgments that, among other things, permanently enjoined them from future violations of the federal securities laws.
In July 2005, the Commission obtained a jury verdict of securities fraud liability in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York against two of three trial defendants, Michael Lipkin and Joshua Shainberg. The Court's determination of appropriate relief against those two defendants remains pending. The Commission is seeking against Lipkin and Shainberg orders imposing permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, civil monetary penalties, and such other relief as the Court deems appropriate. The jury found the third defendant in that trial, Robert Shatles, not liable. The litigation remains pending against defendant Phillip J. Milligan in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
For further information, see Litigation Release No. 19317 (July 29, 2005).