In a surprise ruling this afternoon, U.S. Judge Edward Lodge lifted the freeze on assets of Alternate Energy Holdings Inc., the Eagle-based company promising to build a nuclear power plant in Payette County.
"I'm issuing an order to lift the asset freeze," said Lodge. "But AEHI is subject to a stipulation and order."
AEHI CEO Don Gillispie and co-defendant Jennifer Ransom (former AEHI vice president and current president of a subsidiary of the company) were ordered to provide monthly reports of any and all business expenses of $2,500 or greater.
Securities and Exchange Commission counsel Mark Fickes who prosecuted the case would not comment for the record but acknowledged that the arrangement was ironed out in a nearly two-hour behind-closed-doors session with Lodge.
"We're very, very pleased," AEHI attorney Richard Roth told Citydesk. "Don Gillispie is a wonderful and extremely ethical man."
Gillispie and Ransom had been accused of a "pump and dump" scheme, by allegedly inflating stock prices through fraudulent press releases.
"Don is a significant asset to the state of Idaho," said Roth.
"I've been told not to comment to the media," Ransom told Citydesk. "But I do want to say that I'm thrilled. I'm anxious to get back to work."
AEHI's assets have been frozen since late December when the allegations surfaced. The company is expected to resume paying its employees again Friday morning.
The SEC has indicated that it will continue investigating AEHI.