Jurors in Los Angeles federal court yesterday returned a verdict in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s favor against a microcap issuer, Curative Biosciences Inc., formerly known as Healthient Inc., and husband-and-wife insiders who made false and misleading statements to conceal their unregistered sales of company stock.
William M. Alverson, the former chairman of the company’s board of directors, and Katherine West Alverson, the company’s former chief executive officer and a director, conducted an illicit scheme by which they directed the company to issue shares to third parties under the pretext that they were in payment for services rendered or in discharge of a debt. In fact, the shares were to be sold in the market to unsuspecting investors and over $4 million in proceeds was routed back to the Alversons for their personal use.
“The defendants misappropriated shares for their own personal gain, all the while deceiving the company’s shareholders into believing that the shares were being used for legitimate corporate purposes,” said Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “The SEC remains committed to prosecuting those who engage in self-dealing at the expense of investors.”
The jury found Curative Biosciences and the Alversons liable on all counts, finding that they violated the registration requirements of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933 and the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5(b) thereunder. The jury also found that the Alversons were liable as aiders and abettors of all the company’s violations and as control persons for the company’s violations of the antifraud provisions.
A default was previously entered against relief defendants Northeast Capital Group LLC and Panacea Holdings Inc. A consent judgment was also previously entered against a fourth defendant, Steven G. Patton, who cooperated with the SEC and assisted the investigation and litigation.
The SEC’s litigation is being conducted by Derek Bentsen and Melissa Armstrong under the supervision of Jan M. Folena. The underlying investigation was conducted by Gina M. Joyce and Ryan Farney and supervised by Nina B. Finston.