The Securities and Exchange Commission has won judgments against a convicted felon who made billions of dollars in phony tender offers for Eastman Kodak and AMR Corporation.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami on Tuesday entered a final judgment against Allen E. Weintraub of Adventura, Fla., and his company, AWMS Acquisitions, Inc., d/b/a Sterling Global Holdings (Sterling Global), for making false and misleading statements in connection with purported tender offers they made for Eastman Kodak Company and AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines.
The court's order imposes permanent injunctions against Weintraub and Sterling Global and requires them to pay $400,000 in civil penalties.
In March 2011, Weintraub, without any financial backing, e-mailed Kodak with an offer to buy all its outstanding stock for about $1.3 billion in cash. Ten days later, he sent a similar offer to AMR, offering $3.25 billion for all the company's stock. The purchase prices represented almost a 50 percent premium over each company's then current stock price.
Weintraub, 46, failed to disclose that in 2008 he pleaded guilty to two felony counts of organized fraud and one count of felony money laundering, and that he was on probation when he submitted the offer letters, according to the SEC. He also failed to disclose that due to his criminal record, he was prohibited by the courts from acting as an officer or director of any public company.
Weintraub also failed to mention that he had filed for bankruptcy in 2007, and that his primary residence was foreclosed upon in 2008, according to the SEC. Florida dissolved Sterling Global on July 24, 2010, for failing to file its annual report.
Before making the offers, Weintraub tried to get billions of dollars worth of bank loans for the deals, but was turned down by all three banks he visited, according to the SEC. Yet Weintraub went on to publicized his offers through the media, claiming he had financial backing from "several large institutions," that he could produce letters of credit "within five minutes," had done similarly-sized deals, and was in discussions with Kodak about his offer, according to the SEC.