SIPC: $64 MILLION IN CUSTOMER ASSETS AT DENVER BROKERAGE FIRM TRANSFERRED TO INDIANAPOLIS SECURITIES
WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 31, 2003 - The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains a special reserve fund authorized by Congress to help investors at bankrupt brokerage firms, announced today that $64 million in customer assets at the defunct Rocky Mountain Securities and Investments brokerage firm have been transferred to Indianapolis Securities, Inc.
Of the 5,282 accounts identified by the SIPC trustee handling the Rocky Mountain Securities and Investments liquidation proceeding, a total of 3,837 accounts contained assets. As of March 24, 2003, nearly all former Rocky Mountain customers regained access to their accounts, with Indianapolis Securities, Inc., serving as introducing broker and FiServ, as clearing broker. A handful of accounts, including those of the Rocky Mountain broker alleged to be responsible for customer losses, remain under the control of the SIPC trustee.
General Counsel for SIPC Steve Harbeck said: "The goal of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation in this matter has been to restore the access of customers to their accounts as quickly as possible. While the investigation into this matter is not yet complete, the good news here is that the liquidation is proceeding smoothly and that former customers of Rocky Mountain Securities are now able to either do business through Indianapolis Securities or another brokerage firm of their choosing."
SIPC Trustee John Shively, of Faegre & Benson LLP, said: "Now that the customer accounts have been transferred, we are able to focus on the continuing investigation of Rocky Mountain Securities' losses and the liquidation of the firm. Protecting the investments of Rocky Mountain customers remains our first priority as we work quickly to expedite the payment of customer claims. In order to ensure payment, all customer claims must reach the office of this trustee by May 19, 2003."
Former Rocky Mountain customers can contact the president of Indianapolis Securities, Ann Greene, at (561) 966-6990, or its Chief Compliance Officer, John Telfer, at (866) 330-4639, for questions relating to their accounts.
On February 6, 2003, Rocky Mountain was placed in liquidation under the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) of 1970 by order of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
From its creation by Congress in 1970 through December 2001, SIPC has advanced $513 million in order to make possible the recovery of $14.0 billion in assets for an estimated 622,000 investors. SIPC estimates that more than 99 percent of eligible investors have been made whole in the failed brokerage firm cases that it has handled to date.
SIPC is an important part of the overall system of investor protection in the United States. While a number of federal, self-regulatory and state securities agencies deal with cases of investment fraud, SIPC's focus is both different and narrow: Restoring funds to investors with assets in the hands of bankrupt and otherwise financially troubled brokerage firms. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation was not chartered by Congress to combat fraud.
SIPC either acts as trustee or works with an independent court-appointed trustee in a fraud case to recover funds. The statute that created SIPC rules provides that customers of a failed brokerage firm receive all non-negotiable securities that are already registered in their names or in the process of being registered. At the same time, funds from the SIPC reserve are available to satisfy the remaining claims of each customer up to a maximum of $500,000. This figure includes a maximum of $100,000 on claims for cash.
CONTACT: Ailis Aaron, for SIPC, (703) 276-1116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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