The SEC recently filed fraud charges relating to unregistered oil-and-gas offerings that raised $122 million from over 700 investors over the past few years.
The charges were filed against Heartland Group Ventures, LLC and other affiliated entities, as well as four Heartland-affiliated individuals, James Ikey, John Muratore, Thomas Brad Pearsey, Rustin Brunson, and several oil-and-gas operators, Manjit Singh Sahota, ArcoOil Corp. and Barron Petroleum LLC. A federal district court in Texas has entered a temporary restraining order and freeze order, and appointed a receiver.
The SEC alleges that the Heartland defendants made five fraudulent and unregistered offerings for oil-and-gas projects in Texas. According to the SEC, the Heartland-defendants used only half of investor funds on oil-and-gas ventures, which produced revenues totaling under $500,000. The SEC further claims that the Heartland defendants used $26 million of investor moneys to pay back other investors in Ponzi-like fashion.
The SEC also alleges that the Heartland-affiliated Defendants directed $54 million of investor moneys to Defendants Sahota, ArcoOil, and Barron Petroleum, purportedly for oil-and-gas projects. But, according to the SEC, the oil-and-gas operators misrepresented the oil wells’ production, and used the investor moneys to buy a private jet, a helicopter, real estate, and other items for personal use.
The SEC has brought charges for violating the antifraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as the registration provisions of the Securities Act. The SEC seeks disgorgement, civil penalties, and officer/director bars.
If you invested in any of these offerings, you may wish to consult with an attorney. The securities attorneys at Morgan & Morgan’s Business Trial Group are here to help. Please contact us at 888.744.0142 or visit us online for a free consultation.
The Business Trial Group is part of the largest contingency law firm in the nation, with over 700 lawyers and 50 offices.
The Business Trial Group at Morgan & Morgan helps investors recover their losses on a contingency basis. We are only paid if we successfully recover money for you. We have helped investors recover tens of millions of dollars of investment losses.