The SEC’s Fort Worth office has charged Dallas-based Americrude and two of its executives with defrauding 17 investors out of $950,000 in an oil and gas offering scheme. The alleged scammers created a boiler room of sales employees who cold called potential investors, “using a combination of high-pressure and deceptive sales pitches and false and misleading offering materials.” The Texas Lawbook has details.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged three interconnected oil and gas companies and its executives with fraudulently scheming to raise $11.7 million for drilling projects allegedly located in Kentucky and using investor money for booze, drugs, strippers and alimony payments to the CEO’s ex-wife.
The Texas Securities Commission issued a cease and desist order Friday to stop Dallas-based SourceRock Energy and its two executives from further efforts to raise $4.4 million from investors for an oil and gas project. The Texas Lawbook has the details.
SEC Associate Director Jessica Magee and two other key SEC lawyers are leaving the Fort Worth office to join the Beneficient Company Group, an alternative asset management firm led by Dallas financial titans Brad Keppner, Richard Fisher, Tom Hicks and others. The loss of the three senior SEC leaders leaves a huge void in the federal agency’s regional operations and could impact several high-profile prosecutions and investigations. The Texas Lawbook has full details, including interviews with SEC’s Shamoil Shipchandler and BEN CEO Brad Keppner.
The SEC’s Fort Worth Office has charged AriseBank and its Dallas executives with fraud, illegally selling unregistered securities and providing misleading information to potential investors – all part of an initial coin offering of its own crypto-currency. U.S. District Chief Judge Barbara Lynn has halted all operations of AriseBank, which claimed to be the world’s first “decentralized bank,” and appointed a receiver to take over the business. The story includes appearances by boxing champ Evander Holyfield and Internet journalist Crypto Connie. The Lawbook has the details.
The SEC charged Houston investment adviser James C. Tao of Presidio Venture Capital with misappropriating funds and making material misstatements to those who contributed to the private equity fund he created. Court records show Tao agreed to settle with the SEC instead of face trial and will pay $314,000 in fines and disgorgement.
Houston businesses last year accounted for seven, or about one-fourth of the 26 cases brought by the Justice Department under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Over the past decade, Houston federal court has become one of the busiest in the nation for cases involving foreign bribery cases in large part because of the concentration of energy companies that do business around the world. The Houston Chronicle has an in-depth report.
Federal prosecutors in Dallas have dismissed the criminal case against John Rayne Rivello, a former U.S. Marine who allegedly sent a seizure-inducing Twitter message to a Newsweek journalist who published negative articles about then President-elect Donald Trump. Defense attorney David Gerger told The Texas Lawbook in an exclusive interview that the federal charges simply did not meet the facts alleged.
U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle swore in Erin Neely Cox on Friday as new United States Attorney for North Texas. Cox, in an exclusive interview with The Texas Lawbook, said she “had a good first day.”
“I told the staff Friday that I plan to go slow as fast as I can,” she said. “My plan is to spend the next 60 to 90 days meeting with our team, leaders of local federal law enforcement and federal judges” to help understand their needs and help “determine priorities.” The Texas Lawbook has full details.
Clinton Edgar, a veteran lawyer of the state security’s agency and Texas Tech law grad, has been appointed the new deputy commissioner of the Texas State Securities Board.