U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23114 / October 15, 2014
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stephen D. Ferrone, et al., Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-05223, USDC, N.D.Ill.
SEC Obtains Summary Judgment Against Defendants in Securities Fraud Involving Biopharmaceutical Company
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on October 10, 2014, the Honorable Elaine E. Bucklo of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted the SEC's motion for summary judgment and for partial summary judgment, respectively, against Defendants Douglas McClain, Sr. ("McClain Sr."), of Fair Oaks, Texas, and Douglas McClain Jr. ("McClain Jr."), formerly of Savannah, Georgia. The Court found that McClain Sr. violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws by making misrepresentations and omissions and that McClain Sr. and McClain Jr. engaged in insider trading.
The SEC filed this action against the defendants in August 2011, alleging that McClain Sr., McClain Jr., Immunosyn Corporation ("Immunosyn") Argyll Biotechnologies, LLC ("Argyll"), Stephen D. Ferrone, and James T. Miceli ("Miceli") committed securities fraud in connection with materially misleading statements during 2006-2010 regarding the status of regulatory approvals for Immunosyn's sole product, a drug derived from goat blood referred to as "SF-1019." The SEC also charged Argyll, McClain, Jr., McClain, Sr., Miceli, Argyll Equities, LLC ("Argyll Equities"), and Padmore Holdings, Ltd. with insider trading.
The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in Chicago, alleged, among other things, that the defendants misleadingly stated in public filings with the SEC and in oral presentations that Argyll, Immunosyn's controlling shareholder, planned to commence the regulatory approval process for human clinical trials for SF-1019 in the U.S. or that regulatory approval was underway. The complaint alleges that these statements misled investors because the statements omitted to disclose that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") had already twice issued clinical holds on drug applications for SF-1019, which prohibited clinical trials involving SF-1019 from occurring.
After completion of discovery, the SEC moved for summary judgment, and for partial summary judgment, respectively, against McClain Sr. and McClain Jr. In granting the SEC's motion for summary judgment, the Court found that McClain Sr. committed securities fraud by taking money from investors and failing to deliver Immunosyn shares and by telling investors that Immunosyn would secure approval for SF-1019 from the FDA in about a year and that the U.S. Department of Defense had purchased SF-1019. The Court also found that McClain Sr. and McClain Jr. engaged in insider trading by selling their Immunosyn stock based on the material, non-public information that the FDA had issued clinical holds on drug applications for SF-1019. The Court found that McClain Sr. and McClain Jr. violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5.
The Court will determine the appropriate remedies against McClain Sr. and McClain Jr. at a later date.