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Corporations Keyed to Hazen
SEC v. SG Ltd.
Citation:265 F.3d 42 (1st Cir.2001)
SG’s website contained lists of purported big winners, an Internet bulletin board featuring testimonials from supposedly satisfied participants and descriptions of incentive programs that held out the prospect of rewards for such activities as the referral of new participants and the establishment of affiliate websites. At least 800 United States domiciliaries, paying real cash, purchased virtual shares in the virtual companies listed on the defendants’ virtual stock exchange. In the fall of 1999, over $4,700,000 in participants’ funds was deposited into a Latvian bank account in the name of SG Trading Ltd. In late 1999, participants began to experience difficulties in redeeming their virtual shares. SG unilaterally suspended all pending requests to withdraw funds and sharply reduced participants’ account balances in all companies except the privileged company. The appeals turn on whether the SEC alleged facts which, if proven, would bring this case within the jurisdictional ambit of the federal securities laws.
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