FROM: U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Court Orders California Company and Its President to Pay Over $1.9 Million in Investment Scheme Involving Purported Alzheimer's Treatment
According to the Commission’s complaint, filed on June 20, 2013, Your Best Memories and Hurd falsely told investors that their funds would largely be used to finance the development and marketing of products intended to improve memory function in individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or memory loss. The Commission alleged that, unbeknownst to investors, a mere 17% of the funds raised were used for their intended purpose, while 37% of investor funds were funneled to Hurd or his company, Smokey Canyon Financial. The Commission also alleged that Your Best Memories and Hurd made Ponzi payments to investors (using investors' principal to make payments purporting to be investment returns to other investors) and falsely stated that they had secured FDA approval to sell coconut oil as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, when, in fact, the FDA had never approved such a claim. The complaint alleged that, in total, Your Best Memories raised approximately $1.2 million from more than 50 investors in an unregistered securities offering.
The final judgments, entered by default by the United States District Court for the Central District of California, imposed permanent injunctions prohibiting Your Best Memories and Hurd from future violations of Sections 5(a) and (c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Your Best Memories, Hurd, and Smokey Canyon Financial also were ordered to pay disgorgement of $963,000 and prejudgment interest of $34,170. In addition, Your Best Memories and Hurd were ordered jointly and severally to pay a civil penalty of $963,000.
On March 14, 2014, the Court entered a partial final judgment, by consent, against the other Defendant in the action, Kenneth Gross, of Porter Ranch, California, who was charged with selling Your Best Memories stock without being registered as a broker-dealer as required by the federal securities laws. The judgment permanently enjoined Gross from future violations of Sections 5(a) and (c) of the Securities Act and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act, with disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties to be decided by the Court at a later date. The Commission also instituted a settled follow-on administrative proceeding against Gross on March 6, 2014, permanently barring him from the securities industry.