Lynch’s order states that he has “little confidence” in Altomare’s ability to run Universal Express or find his replacement. Because the company’s $21 million share of the judgment greatly exceeds its assets, a receiver appointed by the court should take over to bring it into SEC compliance and determine the company’s financial state, Lynch ruled.
Motion for contempt
Although the judge’s order supports finding the defendants in contempt, he gave them “one last opportunity” to follow his orders or rebut the SEC’s case.
The judge agreed with the SEC’s findings that Universal Express issued 15.5 billion unregistered shares after his April 2 ruling that the company illegally issued 500 million unregistered shares. Altomare and Gunderson participated in those offers.
“Their active participation in the issuance of billions of unregistered shares of penny stock demonstrates that their violation of the court order was due not to lack of reasonable diligence or even recklessness, but to sheer willfulness,” Lynch wrote.
The judge also said that Universal Express continue to make false statements concerning litigation and its business in its SEC filings, none of the defendants have paid the fines and that Altomare violated his order by refusing to resign.
Universal Express shares traded at .04 of a cent on Sept. 4. No 52-week high/low information was available.