Ron Swanson once stated, “There’s only one thing I hate worse than lying—skim milk, which is water that’s lying about being skim milk.”
Today the SEC announced that it has charged Swanson with his second-least-favorite thing: lying in the form of securities fraud. The SEC alleges that Ronald D. Swanson, the former chief executive officer and general counsel of a company purportedly developing a liquid purification technology, intentionally misled investors from whom he solicited over $2 million between October 2012 and August 2015.
The SEC alleges that Swanson falsely told investors that his employer, Texas-based Sonic Cavitation LLC, was negotiating with a publicly traded oil-and-gas company for a large order of Sonic Cavitation units, which supposedly implemented a liquid purification technology. The SEC claims that Swanson also falsely told investors that the oil-and-gas company was poised to acquire a 10%-12% equity interest in Sonic Cavitation LLC, even though he knew that the oil-and-gas company did not consider Sonic Cavitation’s technology to be viable. Further, Swanson allegedly misrepresented the liquid purification technology’s testing history, capabilities, and performance in real-life applications.
The SEC’s complaint charges Swanson with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC seeks a permanent injunction, penalties, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest, and an officer-and-director bar. In a parallel administrative action, the SEC today also ordered that Swanson be forthwith suspended from appearing or practicing before the Commission pursuant to Rule 102(e)(2) of the Commission’s Rules of Practice, based on his disbarment from the District of Columbia bar.
In response to the SEC’s allegations, the fictional television character Swanson said, “I regret nothing. The end.”