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The Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended former general counsel Daniel Nodurft for helping a Florida energy company illegally sell stock in a device that supposedly “harvested wind” from still air to create electricity. The device was built from a swing set bought on eBay and was never tested, according to the complaint. Nodurft, 56, of Harahan, LA, was charged with three counts of securities fraud and one count of selling an unregistered security for the company, Aerokinetic Energy Corporation, between 2006 and July 2008. “As a licensed attorney, he lent an air of legitimacy to Aerokinetic,” the SEC said. Nodurft served as Aerokinetic’s general counsel from its inception in 2005 until early 2008, when he agreed with the Florida Bar not to serve as general counsel to any Florida corporation, according to court documents. Licensed in Louisiana, he now practices personal injury law in the Robichaux Law Firm in New Orleans. He didn’t immediately return messages for comment; his office said he was in court. On Wednesday, the SEC issued its administrative order suspending him from appearing or practicing before the commission as an attorney. Nodurft agreed to the order, without admitting or denying the findings. The SEC suspension comes after the U.S. District Court in Tampa on October 14 entered a final judgment permanently enjoining Nodurft from violating securities laws. He was also ordered to pay a $50,000 civil penalty. The SEC’s original complaint [PDF] said Sarasota-based Aerokinetic raised at least $535,000 from 24 investors, and that Nodurft played a central role. As the only officer at Aerokinetic other than its president, Nodurft “was fully aware of Aerokinetic’s material misrepresentations and omissions to prospective and actual investors and was a key player in its fraudulent offering,” the complaint states. It says Nodurft incorporated Aerokinetic in Florida, communicated daily with the company president by phone, email, and written correspondence; co-managed the company; handled all company agreements; reviewed and edited content for its two websites; and was in charge of investor relations as “the first and last Aerokinetic contact for most prospective and actual investors.” Among other things, Nodurft and the company claimed its new energy technology, called Leonardo, would be the next Google or Microsoft. They said they were working on an electric Leonardo-based car, and they predicted huge financial returns for investors. The SEC complaint calls the claims “baseless and grossly misleading.” Nodurft “knew, or was severely reckless in not knowing, that the representations Aerokinetic made to prospective investors were false,” according to the complaint. “He knew that the Leonardo was nothing more than a rotating fairground swing set modified with the addition of magnets, and the car a mere idea.” The company and its president agreed to a permanent injunction in 2009 and also were ordered to disgorge investor funds in the Tampa case. See also: “The Cautionary Tale of Plaintiffs Attorney Stanley Chesley,” CorpCounsel, October 2011.

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