Another Prime Bank Fraud Action Commenced by SEC
December 20, 2000. The SEC announced today that it filed an action against Phillip Ezell, a resident of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for offering fictitious “prime bank” instruments over the Internet from March 1998 to August 2000.
The Commission alleges that Ezell, doing business as 21st Century Funding, offered investment programs involving supposedly risk-free trading in “bank debenture notes” issued by the “top banks” of the world. Ezell claimed that this trading would generate enormous returns of up to 80 percent per week, that profits were guaranteed, and that these programs were regulated by the United States Federal Reserve or the International Chamber of Commerce.
According to the complaint, these trading programs do not exist, and Ezell’s representations about them were false.
The Commission also claims that, through his Internet websites offering these products, Ezell improperly offered to sell unregistered securities to potential investors. The complaint alleges that, through these actions, Ezell violated Sections 5(c), 17(a)(1), and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933. The Commission requests that the Court enter preliminary and permanent injunctions against Ezell to prevent him from future violations of the antifraud and registration provisions of the securities laws. The Commission is also seeking other relief, including an immediate accounting of any money Ezell collected, disgorgement of those funds, and an appropriate civil monetary penalty.