Risk & Compliance

Court Fines Mining Company for Snubbing SEC

A federal judge finds International Energy and Resources in contempt for not turning over subpoenaed documents to the commission.
Stephen TaubJuly 30, 2007

A federal court has found International Energy and Resources Inc. in contempt of court for not complying with a Securities and Exchange Commission subpoena to produce documents.

Howard Matz, U.S. district judge for the Central District of California, also ordered IER to pay a fine of $1,000 for each day that it fails to produce all of the requested documents since July 13.

The commission’s application for contempt and supporting papers alleged that in December 2006, the court entered an order requiring Dallas-based IER to produce all documents referenced in two Commission subpoenas by January 17, 2007. The SEC alleges that IER has not turn over any of those documents since that enforcement order.

The SEC’s subpoenas stem from its investigation into possible violations of the registration and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws in connection with the offer, purchase, or sale of securities related to gold-mining interests in Arizona.

The court found that IER had no valid justification for its failure to comply with the order, the SEC said in an announcement.

However, company lawyer Bill Stein told The Dallas Morning News the company has turned over the documents it thought the SEC wanted and is in the process of turning over more documents. “Our position is that we’re in compliance with the subpoenas,” he told the paper. “The SEC has not as yet levied any fines.”

The Dallas paper noted that IER has faced regulatory scrutiny regarding its securities and investments in the past. In 2005, Washington state ordered IER to stop selling unregistered securities in 2005. And in 2004, Shield Environmental Associates Inc. sued the company, alleging it did not pay $240,000 in fees for a preliminary review of the Chastain mine in La Paz County, Ariz., according to the Morning News. Shield Environmental also accused IER of misrepresenting its report on the mine’s potential to investors. The newspaper said the lawsuit was settled in arbitration in 2005.