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SEC Halts Cross-Border Prime Bank Scam

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

07 December 2006

The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday filed an emergency action against Daniel Eric Byer, Malcolm Cameron Boyd Stevenson, Preston David Pinkett II, and International Fiduciary Corp., S.A. (IFC).

The Commission alleged that the defendants defrauded over 180 investors in a fraudulent "prime bank" scheme that appears to have raised at least $18.2 million to date. IFC is a Virginia corporation with offices in Arlington, Va. Pinkett, who also lists an Arlington, Va., address, is IFC's chairman and CEO. Byer and Stevenson are Canadians.

Fraudulent prime bank schemes involve the purported issuance, trading, or use of so-called "prime" bank, "prime" European bank or "prime" world bank financial instruments, or other "high yield investment programs". The fraudsters who promote these schemes often use the word "prime" – or a synonymous phrase, such as "top fifty world banks" – to cloak their programs with an air of legitimacy.

They seek to mislead investors by suggesting that well regarded and financially sound institutions participate in these bogus programs. However, prime bank and other related schemes have no connection whatsoever to the world's leading financial institutions or to banks with the word "prime" in their names.

The SEC's complaint alleges that defendants solicited investors in the Pacific Northwest and the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Linda Thomsen, Director of the SEC's Enforcement Division, announced that:

"The SEC will work quickly to stop US issuers who illegally offer or sell purported prime bank instruments, whether their victims reside in the US or abroad."

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