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SEC Halts Trading in 26 Small Firms

Those that file missing financial reports will be able to resume trading June 22. But many may be out of business.

June 09, 2004|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading Tuesday in shares of 26 small companies for two weeks because they failed to file required periodic financial reports.

The regulatory agency, which has increasingly been cracking down on compliance and cooperation, said it was the first time it had halted trading in companies for delinquent reporting.

The SEC also began administrative proceedings against 31 companies, including those in which trading has been halted, seeking the suspension or termination of their registration to issue securities.

The agency said it imposed the trading suspensions because the companies' failure to submit the reports meant there was a lack of current and accurate information about them.

The trading halts began at the start of trading Tuesday. Trading in the stocks will be able to resume June 22 if the companies file the required reports.

The SEC suspends trading in stocks from time to time, but a suspension of several companies at the same time is rare.

Shares in the 26 companies are traded on the National Assn. of Securities Dealers' OTC Bulletin Board, an electronic trading system for small stocks that are thinly traded.

SEC officials said most of the companies had ceased business operations but their stock continued to trade.

The SEC said 14 of the companies it was taking action against were presently or formerly associated with Richard Surber of Salt Lake City, and that they failed to heed delinquency letters requesting compliance with periodic filing requirements. Surber could not be reached for comment.

In 1999, Illinois sought to collect more than $500,000 in fines and costs from a Utah-based real estate company headed by Surber that Illinois officials said was responsible for an illegal tire dump cleaned up by the state.

The 14 companies are: ATC II Inc., Cybergate Inc., Cyber Tennis Inc., Cyberwholesale Inc., CathayOne Inc., eLocity Networks Inc., Golden Opportunity Development Corp., JAB International Inc., Maxx International Inc., Oasis Resorts International Inc., Rollerball International Inc., U.S. Homes & Properties Inc., Wichita Development Corp. and Youthline USA Inc.

The SEC previously won injunctions against 17 other companies requiring them to submit their reports, yet they failed to do so, officials said.

Those 17 companies are: Alcohol Sensors International Ltd., Beachport Entertainment Corp., Biosonics Inc., Compressent Inc., Eye Cash Networks Inc., Hamilton-Biophile Cos., Holly Holdings Inc., Intelligent Decision Systems Inc., Long Distance Direct Holdings Inc., LRG Restaurant Group Inc., Nevada Manhattan Group Inc., Parallel Technologies Inc., Quadratech Inc., Redneck Foods Inc., Safetech Industries Inc., Viking Resources International Inc. and Xavier Corp.

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