Stay up-to-date with the latest developments in securities law through access to both news and all statutes and regulations. Find relevant corporate filings through a searchable EDGAR database. And...
By Richard Hill
Sept. 2 — Alabama attorney Donald Watkins and his companies defrauded investors, including professional athletes, out of at least $6 million by promoting a failing waste-to-energy venture, the SEC said ( SEC v. Watkins, N.D. Ga., 1:16-cv-03298, 9/1/16 ).
Watkins, who sued the Securities and Exchange Commission in October to halt its investigation, allegedly told investors that international waste treatment company Waste Management Inc. was considering acquiring the two companies—Watkins Pencor LLC and Masada Resource Group LLC.
The defendant allegedly told investors, including former and current professional basketball and football players, that a multi-billion dollar deal was imminent. Talks with Waste Management never got past a brief initial meeting more than four years ago, however, the SEC said in a Sept. 1 complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Watkins, who doesn't currently practice law, touted the negotiations in order to sell promissory notes and “economic interests” in his companies, the SEC said. Allegedly, he used investor funds for personal expenses, including $100,000-a-year alimony payments, past taxes, business debts and credit card bills.
The agency is seeking fines, restitution and a permanent injunction against the defendants. Watkins' firm, Donald V. Watkins P.C., allegedly received investor funds and was named a relief defendant.
Watkins' counsel Mario Williams, Williams Oinonen LLC, Atlanta, told Bloomberg BNA the SEC's complaint was “unsubstantiated and baseless” and was filed in retaliation for Watkins' October suit and for critical remarks Watkins has made about high ranking officials in Alabama. In his suit, Watkins called Masada an ongoing enterprise “that is fully implementing its business plan.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Hill in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phyllis Diamond at email@example.com
The complaint can be seen at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Securities_and_Exchange_Commission_v_Watkins_et_al_Docket_No_116c.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)