U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23588 / June 30, 2016
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Bruce D. Strebinger, et al., Civil Action No. 14-cv-3533 (LMM) (N.D.GA.)
SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Canadian Citizen Charged with Penny Stock Fraud Involving Tennessee Coal Mining Company
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on June 21, 2016, the Honorable Leigh Martin May of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia entered a final judgment against Brent Howard Chapman.
In its complaint, the SEC alleged that Chapman, along with his co-defendant, Bruce Strebinger acquired positions of more than 5% of Americas Energy common stock without publicly disclosing their beneficial ownership status as mandated by the federal securities laws. Having acquired their substantial undisclosed positions, Strebinger and Chapman coordinated an aggressive, multi-million dollar campaign to promote Americas Energy stock to prospective investors through blast e-mails and direct mailings of stock promotion reports that contained false and misleading statements. While coordinating the promotional campaign designed to encourage prospective investors to buy Americas Energy stock, Strebinger and Chapman were simultaneously dumping their Americas Energy stock on the public market through an intricate web of international accounts and foreign domiciled financial institutions, located in Canada, Nevis, Panama, Switzerland, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The SEC previously suspended trading in Americas Energy stock.
The final judgment permanently enjoins Chapman from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b), 13(d) and 20(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5, 13d-1, and 13d-2(a) thereunder. In addition, the final judgment imposes a penny stock bar and orders Chapman to pay $2,800,000 in disgorgement. Chapman consented to the entry of the final judgment without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC's complaint. The SEC also dismissed its claims against relief defendant Lance Investments S.A. The court's entry of judgment against Chapman resolves this litigation in its entirety.
The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the British Columbia Securities Commission.
For further information, see Press Release 2014-247 (Nov. 4, 2014) and Litigation Release No. 23493 (Mar. 21, 2016).