ACLN Distribution Fund

Frequently Asked Questions






What was this case about?

On October 8, 2002, the SEC filed a civil action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Court”), against ACLN and certain other defendants, because ACLN shipped used vehicles from Europe to Africa, and claimed to sell new cars in North and West African countries. ACLN and the other defendants violated numerous provisions of the federal securities laws by fraudulently misrepresenting sales revenue and assets.

On June 24, 2003, this Court entered an order to establish a Court Registry Investment Service (“CRIS”) account for the case (the “CRIS Account”). In that order, the Court directed that “all funds received and to be received” in the matter should be deposited into the CRIS Account, and that those funds, together with any interest and income earned thereon, shall be held in the account until further order. The Court entered Final Judgments against each of the defendants.

In total, the Court entered judgments against the defendants in excess of $122 million in disgorgement, of which over $94 million remains outstanding. The SEC successfully recovered $28,265,287.11. These funds have been deposited into two different interest-bearing CRIS accounts numbered 1:02-cv-07988-1 and 1:02-cv-07988-2, under the case name designation “SEC v. A.C.L.N. Ltd., et al.” All payments made into the two CRIS accounts arise out of the same underlying action and the same violations of the securities laws, and it is intended that all payments in this action be combined for purposes of distribution. The funds on deposit in the two CRIS accounts are collectively referred to herein as the “ACLN Distribution Fund.”

The final judgments entered in these matters provided that the SEC may propose a plan to distribute the funds in the ACLN CRIS Account, subject to the Court’s approval.

On March 22, 2012, the SEC submitted its Motion for Appointment of a Distribution Agent. On March 28, 2012, this Court granted the SEC’s motion and entered an Order for Appointment of Distribution Agent (“Order”). The Garden City Group, Inc. was appointed to serve as the Distribution Agent and ordered to assist in developing a Distribution Plan to distribute monies in the ACLN Distribution Fund to investors harmed by the violations alleged in the complaint. The Order also authorizes the Distribution Agent to oversee the administration of claims and the distribution of the ACLN Distribution Fund pursuant to the terms of the Distribution Plan, subject to oversight by the Court.

The Court approved the Plan of Distribution on April 1, 2013. For additional information, please see the Distribution Plan Notice.

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Why did I receive a Claims Packet?

You received a Claims Packet because records indicate you may have bought ACLN common stock between June 15, 1999 through March 18, 2002, inclusive. The packet you received is designed to notify you of the settlement reached and to inform you that you may be eligible to receive payment from the ACLN Distribution Fund.

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Who is eligible to participate in the ACLN Distribution Fund?

You must have purchased ACLN common stock during the SEC Action Claims Period (June 15, 1999 through March 18, 2002).

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Who is excluded from participation in the ACLN Distribution Fund?

An Eligible Claimant shall not include:

  • Any director or officer, or former director or officer, of ACLN or any of its past or present Affiliates who served in such capacity during the SEC Action Claims Period (or any of his or her assigns, creditors, heirs, distributees, spouses, parents, children, or controlled entities);

  • Any employee of ACLN or any of its past or present Affiliates who has been terminated for cause in connection with the violations alleged in the SEC’s Complaint in this action or any related SEC action, or who was otherwise terminated or has resigned in connection with the violations alleged in the SEC’s Complaint in this action or any related SEC action (or any of such employee’s Affiliates, assigns, creditors, heirs, distributees, spouses, parents, children, or controlled entities);

  • Any defendant in any action brought by the SEC or any class action lawsuit related to the conduct described in the SEC’s Complaint in this action or any related SEC action (or any of such defendant’s Affiliates, assigns, creditors, heirs, distributees, spouses, parents, children, or controlled entities), unless and until such defendant is found not liable in all such civil suits prior to the Claims Bar Date, and proof of the finding(s) is included in such defendant’s timely filed Proof of Claim Form;

  • Any person who, as of the Claims Bar Date, has been the subject of criminal charges related to the violations alleged in the SEC’s Complaint in this action, or any related SEC action (or any of his or her Affiliates, assigns, creditors, heirs, distributees, spouses, parents, children or controlled entities);

  • Any Person who assigned their right to obtain a recovery in the SEC’s action against ACLN;

  • Any assignee of another Person’s right to obtain a recovery in the SEC’s action against ACLN, provided, however, that this provision shall not be construed to exclude those Persons who obtained such a right by inheritance or devise; or

  • The Distribution Agent, its employees, and those persons assisting the Distribution Agent in its role as the Distribution Agent, and those persons and their employees who are engaged to perform services pursuant to this Plan.

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What is the amount of the Distribution Fund?

Approximately $28 million.

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What do I need to do to participate in the Distribution Fund?

Unless you were an approved participant in the ACLN Class Action settlement identified below, you must complete and submit a Proof of Claim Form, along with the necessary supporting documentation, to the Distribution Agent. The Proof of Claim Form (and supporting documentation) must be filed online or postmarked no later than September 16, 2013.

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Do I need to submit a Proof of Claim Form if I was a participant in the ACLN Class Action?

If you submitted a Proof of Claim Form in connection with a claim that was approved by the Court in the ACLN Class Action, you do not need to submit another Proof of Claim Form for those same purchases. If you engaged in additional purchases of ACLN common stock during the SEC Action Claims Period, including the period of June 15, 1999 through June 29, 2000, that were not approved by the Court in the ACLN Class Action, you must submit a Proof of Claim Form to be eligible to recover for those purchases.

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What do I need to submit with my Proof of Claim Form?

You must document each transaction that you include on your claim form. Acceptable forms of supporting documentation include:

  1. Trade confirmation slips from brokerage firms that list the security name, the name of the beneficial owner, the type of transaction, the date of the transaction, the number of shares, and the total amount of the transaction, OR

  2. Monthly statements from brokerage firms that detail all account activity within a month.

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What is the deadline for submitting my Proof of Claim Form?

Proof of Claim Forms must have been postmarked no later than September 16, 2013.

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How will I know when the Proof of Claim Form I submit has been received by the Distribution Agent?

The Distribution Agent will acknowledge receipt of your Claim Form by regular or electronic mail within 60 days of receipt. Your claim is not deemed filed until you receive an acknowledgment postcard or e-mail. If you do not receive an acknowledgment postcard or e-mail within 45 days, please call the Distribution Agent toll free at 1 (800) 909-7125.

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Will I be notified if my Proof of Claim Form is deficient?

Yes. If your Proof of Claim form is deficient, you will receive a Claim Deficiency Notice setting forth the reason why the claim is deficient and advising you of the opportunity to cure such deficiency.

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Can a financial institution that served as an advisor to numerous clients file Proof of Claim Forms on their behalf? Can we group all our clients together using this method?

Yes, you may file on behalf of all your clients, provided you are authorized to do so and provide us with that valid written authorization. If you would like to file these claims together, you should file your claims electronically.

Please Note: Claims with 100 or more transactions or on behalf of 20 or more different accounts must be submitted electronically and in the required format. You can obtain the mandatory electronic filing requirements and file layout on this website or you may e-mail the Distribution Agent at eClaim@gcginc.com Any submission not in accordance with the required electronic filing format may be rejected. Proof of authority to submit a Proof of Claim form on behalf of any managed accounts must be submitted with any Proofs of Claim for such accounts. If you intend to file electronically, you can submit and track the history of your claims by using our secure website, GCG ICETM (www.gcgice.com), which is available 24/7. GCG ICETM allows institutional investors to upload electronic claims and documents, track the history and status of submissions, view claim rejections and how to fix them, update contact information, and receive important status alerts via e-mail.

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How much money will I receive if my claim is approved?

Until all claims have been fully processed, it is not possible to determine the amount of any individual payment because the amount will depend on a variety of factors, including the number of valid claims processed, the amount of ACLN common stock that you purchased, and when you purchased and sold these shares. In addition, in order for a claim to be paid, it must equal or exceed the Minimum Payment Amount of $25.

For additional information as to how your claim will be calculated, please view the Plan of Allocation for the ACLN Distribution Fund Plan located on this website here.

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Who is the Distribution Agent?

The Court has appointed The Garden City Group, Inc. to serve as the Distribution Agent.

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Where can I obtain a Plan of Distribution Notice and Proof of Claim Form?

You can obtain a Distribution Plan Notice and Proof of Claim form by either downloading these documents from this website by clicking here or we can mail you these documents if you provide your name and address by clicking here and request that we mail you a Claims Packet.

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How do I get more information?

Additional information regarding the ACLN Distribution Fund can be found on this website. You can obtain additional information or request copies of forms and notices by calling the ACLN Distribution Fund’s toll-free hotline at 1(800) 909-7125 in the United States, or by email at Questions@ACLNSECDistributionFund.com.

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