Receivership of
We The People, Inc. of the United States

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SEC
Securities &
 Exchange Commission


Attorneys for Plaintiff
Securities & Exchange Commission:

Nicholas Heinke and
Dugan Bliss,
 Counsel for Plaintiff;

Ian Karpel,
Michael Cates and
Stephen C. McKenna,
Of Counsel for Plaintiff


 

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
MIAMI DIVISION

CASE NO.: 2:13-cv-14050-MARTINEZ-MCALILEY

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION,

Plaintiff,

vs.

WE THE PEOPLE, INC. OF THE UNITED STATES

Defendant.

      On February 4, 2013 the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “S.E.C.”) filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida against We The People, Inc. of The United States (“We The People”), seeking an injunction and damages arising from an investment offering wherein We The People enticed investors to invest stocks, annuities, real estate, or cash in exchange for an investment product that We The People called a “tax-deductible gift annuity” or “charitable gift annuity” (“CGA”) in violation of the anti-fraud provisions and registration provisions of federal securities laws.

     In its Complaint, the S.E.C. alleges that We The People raised more than $75 million in assets from approximately 400 investors in more than 30 states through marketing and promotional materials which contained misrepresentations and omissions of material fact, including: (1) false statements claiming that investors would receive the full accumulated value of their investments; (2) false statements regarding the safety and security of the CGA program, including falsely claiming that We The People obtained reinsurance; (3) omissions regarding the indictments and regulatory sanctions issued against two We The People senior executives for fraudulently selling similar products; and (4) omissions regarding the sizable commissions totaling several million dollars which We The People paid to third-party promoters on the sale of its products.  The Complaint also alleges that We The People also made false public statements regarding the amount of charitable contributions it made, significantly exaggerating those contributions.

     Along with its Complaint, the S.E.C. filed a motion for Judgment and a Motion to Appoint Receiver.  We The People consented to the entry of a Judgment and the appointment of a receiver, and waived any right to file an appeal.

     On February 13, 2013, the Court entered the Judgment and ­­­­an order appointing Melanie E. Damian as Receiver over We The People, and any of its subsidiaries and/or any business names under which it does business (the “Receivership Order”).  The Receivership Order, among other things, authorizes the Receiver to:

  • Take immediate possession of all personal property of We The People, wherever located, including but not limited to bank records and accounts, savings records and accounts, brokerage records and accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, debentures, and other securities and investments, contracts, mortgages, furniture, office supplies and equipment;

  • Manage, control, operate and maintain We The People;

  • Take actions necessary for preservation of the property of We The People, or to prevent the dissipation of concealment of such property; and

  • Bring or continue legal actions on behalf of We The People.

     Also, based upon the Receivership Order, third parties are obligated to cooperate and turn over to the Receiver possession and control of any property, accounts, interests, or any other assets related to We the People and its subsidiaries.

     The Receiver has contacted the annuity companies and informed them that they are required to:  (i) cease all communications with any and all persons at We the People, (ii) direct all communications and correspondence intended for We the People to the Receiver, (iii) only take direction from the Receiver for any account or asset related to We the People and any subsidiaries, and (iv) maintain the status quo with respect to all accounts and assets related to We the People and any subsidiaries, including without limitation any disbursements to be made to We the People and/or its subsidiaries, customers or other persons and entities.

     While performing her duties under the Receivership Order, Ms. Damian will use this website to keep investors, customers, and clients of We The People informed of the status of the receivership by updating this site with information, deadlines and court filings.  We encourage you to visit this website regularly to keep abreast of the status of the Receivership.
 
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