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Valley Focus | Canoga Park

18 Defendants to Pay $6.5 Million in Fines

July 18, 1998|KAREN ROBINSON-JACOBS

A U.S. District Court judge has ordered 18 defendants to pay $3.2 million in civil penalties and an additional $3.3 million in restitution for their roles in a scheme to raise money for a 900-number dating service in Canoga Park.

Acting on a request from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Judge Christina A. Snyder imposed the order against B.M.C. Enterprises and others involved in marketing unregistered securities for "Touch Tone Partners."

The SEC alleged that the group netted $3.9 million from August 1994 to January 1995 in part by making inflated claims.

Ten of the defendants had agreed in April not to commit any similar offenses in the future.

However, the two sides could not settle on a penalty amount, said Gregory C. Glynn, senior trial attorney with the SEC's Pacific Regional Office.

The SEC returned to court and secured the $6.5 million summary and default judgments, which were announced Thursday.

Glynn questioned, though, whether the victims in the case will see any return on their investments, adding: "I don't think these people [defendants] have any assets. The money is gone."

An attorney for the defendants could not be reached for comment.

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