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 Home > Securities > SEC Resources >

FindLaw Class Action and Mass Tort Center: Securities: SEC Resources:
             U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Litigation Release No. 15081 / September 27, 1996

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. EMPOWER TELECOMMUNICATIONS
CORP. ET AL., Civil Action No. 96-6815 WDK (VAPx) (C.D. Cal.)   

     The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission")
announces that on September 26, 1996, it filed a complaint in
federal district court in Los Angeles against Empower
Telecommunications Corporation ("Empower"), its former and
current officers and directors, William H.B. Chan ("William
Chan"), Osvaldo N. Lorenzetti ("Lorenzetti") and Donald E. Whorl
and a related company, William H.B. Chan & Company.  

     The Complaint alleges that from January 1993 through October
1994, the defendants engaged in a nationwide fraudulent offer and
sale of unregistered Empower securities allegedly to build two
telephone exchanges in Indonesia.  The Complaint alleges that
William Chan misappropriated approximately $1.2 million of the
$6.56 million Empower raised through the sale of its securities. 
Chan spent the $1.2 million on a wide variety of business
ventures, including Vietnamese art research and the purchase of a
cellular telephone company.  The Complaint further alleges that
Empower raised these proceeds from approximately 350 investors,
most of whom were unsophisticated individuals with little or no
prior experience in securities transactions.  In addition, the
defendants made material misrepresentations and omitted to
disclose material facts to investors concerning, among other
things: Empower's purported agreements with a regional telephone
company; the value of Empower's assets; outstanding financial
obligations Empower owed to a business partner and its investment
banker; undisclosed commissions paid to Empower's sales agents;
and the personal bankruptcy of Empower's Chairman, William Chan. 
The Complaint alleges violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a)
of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Sections
10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange
Act") and Rules 10b-5 and 10b-9, thereunder.      The Complaint
seeks permanent injunctions, an officer and director bar,
disgorgement with prejudgment interest and civil penalties.  

     Concurrent with the filing of the Commission's Complaint,
Lorenzetti, Empower's former Chief Executive Officer, consented,
without admitting or denying the allegations in the Complaint, to
a permanent injunction enjoining him from future violations of
Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the
Exchange Act and Rules 10b-5 and 10b-9, thereunder.  Civil
penalties were not assessed against Lorenzetti based upon his
demonstrated inability to pay.  The Commission's suit is pending
against the remaining defendants.




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