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Final Judgment Issued Against Exsorbet's Ogle.

A federal judge in Chicago has closed the book on Greenwood area entrepreneur Floyd Leland "Lee" Ogle and four others for artificially driving up the price of stock in Arkansas-based Exsorbet Industries Inc. in the 1990s.

On Thursday, the U.S. District Court in Chicago issued final judgments against Ogle, Exsorbet market maker Reuben Peters and three Chicago stockbrokers in connection with a Feb. 1, 1999, complaint filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The five had been ordered to pay disgorgements and civil penalties totaling $2.3 million.

The complaint charged that the five inflated Exsorber's stock price from $1 to $13 between November 1993 and February 1996 through a series of bribes and cross trades between the U.S. and British Columbia. The complaint also accused Ogle and his associates of engaging in bribery and artificially fixing the stock's price at $5 when the stock opened on Feb. 4, 1994.

Exsorbet has since become known as Consolidated Eco-Systems and produced a peat moss-based oil absorbent that promoters said could be used in environmental cleanup.

But the product's effectiveness was obscured when the SEC alleged last year that Ogle and Exsorbet executive vice president Gary Gotten forged an endorsement letter from the Environmental Protection Agency and issued a press release falsely claiming that the company had $5 million in contracts.

SEC officials said the consent judgments do not include an admission of guilt to the charges. Ogle was assessed $571,000 in disgorgement of ill-gotten proceeds plus interest of $230,419 and a civil penalty of $200,000.
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Author:Whiteley, Michael
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jun 26, 2000
Words:261
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