Litigation Release No. 24401 / February 15, 2019
Securities and Exchange Commission, Plaintiff-Appellee v. Inteligentry, Ltd., PlasmERG, Inc., PTP Licensing, Ltd., Defendants, and John P. Rohner, Defendant-Appellant, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Appeal No. 17-16644
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Inteligentry, Ltd., PlasmERG, Inc., PTP Licensing, Ltd. and John P. Rohner, Civil Action No. 2:13-cv-00344-RFB-NJK (D. Nev.)
On January 28, 2019, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion that summarily affirmed the final judgment entered in favor of the Securities and Exchange Commission on its claims against John P. Rohner.
On February 28, 2013, the SEC charged Rohner and three of his companies, Inteligentry, Ltd., PlasmERG, Inc. and PTP Licensing, Ltd., with operating a fraudulent investment scheme. The SEC’s complaint alleged that the defendants raised more than $1.8 million from investors by falsely claiming that the companies had developed, tested, and patented an operational “plasma engine” fueled by abundant and inexpensive noble gases, which they claimed would replace the internal combustion engine. The complaint also alleged that investors were told that the funds would be used to bring the plasma engine to market, but instead the defendants improperly used a significant portion of investor funds to pay Rohner’s personal expenditures, including buying a house and personal vehicles.
On March 31, 2015, the District Court granted the SEC’s motion for summary judgment on liability against Rohner on all five claims alleged in the complaint. On July 17, 2017, the District Court entered a final judgment against Rohner, ordering him to pay, jointly and severally with the corporate defendants, $1,822,825 in disgorgement and $411,100 in prejudgment interest. The judgment also orders Rohner to pay a civil penalty of $750,000 and permanently enjoins him from participating in the issuance, offer, or sale of any security of entities that promoted plasma engines and related technology.