Vista Capital’s Lucien Selce Sues SEC to Block Subpoena

Vista Capital Management SA co-founder Lucien Selce sued the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeking a court order to quash a subpoena demanding information about him from Google Inc.

Selce, a French citizen living in Geneva according to his complaint, called the regulator’s demand “extraordinarily invasive” in a filing today in Manhattan federal court.

The subpoena purports to demand information about Selce’s use of his Google Gmail account from the date he opened it, together with any e-mail or data associated with a Geneva address Selce said is home to a mixed-use apartment and office building, according to the court filing. The address is the same as Vista Capital’s offices, according to the firm’s website.

A copy of the subpoena filed with Selce’s complaint states it was issued in September in conjunction with the SEC’s probe into the trading of GDF Suez, a French energy company.

The investor claims he got his copy of the SEC’s demand from Google and that the SEC has failed to provide either a copy of the document or an explanation for it.

Selce contends he is beyond the jurisdiction of the U.S. regulator.

“Any and all trading in which Mr. Selce may have engaged in securities of GDF Suez in or about December 2012 was effected solely on European exchanges and not on any United States exchange,” and based on publicly available information, according to his complaint.

The SEC media relations department didn’t immediately reply to phone and e-mail messages after regular business hours seeking comment on the court filing. Selce seeks a court order blocking the SEC’s subpoena and barring Mountain View, California-based Google, from complying with it.

Matt Kallman, a Google spokesman, declined to comment on the filing.

The case is Selce v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 14-cv-09127, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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