Thursday, September 14, 2006

Finally got him........................

Posted on Wed, Sep. 13, 2006

SEC accuses Native American firm of defrauding investors

JUDITH BURNS
Dow Jones Newswires

WASHINGTON - A San Francisco company that promoted itself as the first U.S. firm to be majority-owned by Native Americans was charged with securities fraud Wednesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Indigenous Global Development Corp. and Chief Executive Deni Leonard raised more than $2 million by misleading investors about the firm's natural-gas business, according to the SEC. Although the company claimed it would provide a better future for Native Americans, the SEC said it was actually "teetering on the brink of extinction."

The firm, which was incorporated in Utah, never earned any money, had no significant assets, and now is essentially defunct, according to the SEC. The agency's lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, seeks to fine the company, have it return allegedly ill-gotten gains, and bar Leonard from serving as an officer or director of a public company, and from taking part in any penny-stock offering.

Earlier Wednesday, the SEC temporarily halted trading in the stock, citing a lack of current and accurate information about Indigenous Global. The trading halt runs through Sept. 26. The SEC also is considering whether to revoke the stock's registration since the company hasn't filed any quarterly or annual reports since the end of the first quarter of 2005.

Michael Dickey, assistant district administrator for enforcement with the SEC's San Francisco office, said Indigenous Global issued "blatantly false" press releases, including claims to have a deal to sell up to $15 million of natural gas in the United States after preliminary talks with two groups in Canada.

"There's a lot of difference between talking and doing," Dickey said.

The company and its chief executive couldn't be reached immediately for comment. Dickey said neither is represented by a lawyer and the company's phone number has been disconnected.

Leonard, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon, has been honored by numerous organizations and was featured in Po Bronson's 2002 book "What Should I Do With My Life?"

If business is a tool to support what you believe in, wrote Bronson, "Deni Leonard takes it to another level."

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© 2006 AP Wire and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
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