James Douglas Distribution Fund

Welcome to the James Douglas Distribution Fund Website

This website has been established to provide general information related to the James Douglas Distribution Fund.

Background

This is a securities class action litigation currently pending before the Honorable Jack Zouhary in the United States District Court for the Norther District of Ohio, Western Division (the “Court”).  This action is known as Securities and Exchange Commission v. James L. Douglas a/k/a James L. Cooper, Case No. C82-29.

On January 18, 1982, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) filed a complaint against James L. Douglas a/k/a James L. Cooper (“Douglas”), alleging that he had raised more than $7.5 million by offering and selling unregistered securities to more than 300 investors.  The securities took the form of interests in multiple oil and gas partnerships.  Douglas made multiple misrepresentations and omitted material information relating to the costs of drilling and refurbishing wells, his financial contributions to the partnerships, the involvement of related parties in transactions, and sharing of revenues with persons who solicited investments.

Simultaneously with the filing of the complaint, the Court entered a Final Judgment of Permanent Injunction with Douglas’s consent, leaving open the issue of monetary relief. On August 26, 1983, the Court entered another judgment by consent, directing Douglas to disgorge $200,000 under a three-year payment plan. The deadline for the final payment was August 26, 1986.  From 1984 to 1986, Douglas missed two out of the three installment deadlines and paid only $121,975.29 of the $200,000, leaving an unpaid balance of $78,024.71.

On August 8, 1988, this Court found Douglas in contempt of the three-year payment plan.  The amount Douglas paid, plus $20,000 frozen in the related lawsuit, SEC v. James R. Crawford, Case No. C 79-353 (N.D. Ohio), and accrued interest, was placed into a disgorgement fund in a court registry account. Total investor losses were estimated at $7.5 million. Two distributions, totaling $155,327.82, were made pursuant to Court Orders dated October 18, 1985 and September 26, 1988 (collectively, the “First Distribution”).

The SEC filed a motion for civil contempt on January 23, 2012.  After an evidentiary hearing and briefing, the Court found Douglas in contempt and, on August 20, 2012, ordered the payment of the entire outstanding judgment of $78,024.71, plus post-judgment interest of approximately $1.78 million at the statutory rate of 10.74% from the date of the entry of the judgment in 1983. In December 2013, Defendant transferred $1.9 million to the registry of the Court, in full satisfaction of the outstanding judgment and post-judgment interest (the “Distribution Fund”).

Distribution Agent

On June 15, 2015, the Court appointed Kurtzman Carson Consultants, LLC (“KCC”) as distribution agent (“Distribution Agent”) to assist in overseeing the administration and distribution of the Distribution Fund in coordination with Commission staff, pursuant to the terms of the Distribution Plan.

Distribution Fund

As provided in the Distribution Plan, the Distribution Fund less administrative costs is to be used pay injured investors.  Those injured investors who received distribution payments in the First Distribution, or their legal heirs or successors, are eligible to participate in the distribution of the Distribution Fund subject to the conditions detailed in the Distribution Plan.