SEC v. Thompson, No. 11-4182 (10th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
The issue before the Tenth Circuit in this case stemmed from a civil-enforcement action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") against Defendant-Appellant Ralph Thompson, Jr., in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme Thompson ran through his company, Novus Technologies, L.L.C. ("Novus"). The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the SEC on several issues, including the issue of whether the instruments Novus sold investors were "securities." Thompson's single issue on appeal was that the district court ignored genuine disputes of material fact on the issue of whether the Novus instruments were securities, and that he was entitled to have a jury make that determination. After careful consideration, the Tenth Circuit concluded that under the test articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in "Reves v. Ernst & Young" (494 U.S. 56 (1990)), the district court correctly found that the instruments Thompson sold were securities as a matter of law.