Articles Posted in Limited Partnership Fraud and Mismanagement

Boca Raton, Florida Preferred Stock and Limited Partnership Fraud and Misrepresentation Attorney:

SEC Charges Principals of a Texas Oil and Gas Company with Conducting a Fraudulent Offering of Preferred Stock and Limited Partnership Interests, and Charges Seller with Acting as an Unregistered Broker

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Paul R. Downey, et al., Civil Action No. 1:14-CV-00185-C (N.D. Tex. Abilene Division)

Oil and Gas Limited Partnerships and Oil and Gas Offering Fraud, Misrepresentation and Mismanagement – South Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Deerfiled Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth and West Palm Beach, Litigation and Arbitration Attorney

An oil and gas limited partnership is legally set up using the same format as any type of limited partnership. It is created by filing articles of limited partnership or its equivalent in the state of its domicile. For example, Florida Statute, Chapter 620 governs the legal requirements that must be followed in the formation, operation and dissolution of the limited partnership, whether it is engaged in the oil and gas business or not. This post is limited to a general discussion of an oil and gas limited partnership.

An oil and gas limited partnership is made up of one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. Generally, it is structured to find, extract, and market commercial quantities of oil and natural gas. These types of investments are usually offered by prospectus, in the case of a public offering, and by a private offering memorandum, in the case of a private offering of securities. In either offering document, it is important to consider, among other things, who is making the offering, which brings to the forefront such items as experience, prior success and financial stability. The next important section of the document relates to the “risk” factor section of the document. Usually, in bold type there is a phrase such as “this offering involves a high degree of risk and should be considered only by those investors who can stand to lose their entire investment.”

Florida Oil and Gas Fruad, Misrepresentation and Ponzi Scheme Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced charges and an emergency asset freeze against the perpetrators of a Texas-based Ponzi scheme involving purported investments in oil and gas projects.

The SEC alleges that Robert A. Helms and Janniece S. Kaelin, who work out of an office in Austin, misled investors about their experience in the oil and gas industry while raising nearly $18 million for supposed purchases of oil and gas royalty interests. Despite representations that nearly all of the money they raised would be used to make oil and gas investments, Helms and Kaelin actually used only a fraction of the offering proceeds for that purpose. Instead, the vast majority of investor funds were used to make Ponzi payments and cover various personal and business expenses.

The Securities and Exchange Commission Halts a Texas-Based Scheme Targeting Foreign Investors Seeking U.S. Residency Through EB-5 Visa Program:

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced fraud charges against a husband and wife in Texas for stealing funds from foreign investors under the guise of an investment opportunity to create U.S. jobs and a path to U.S. residency.

The SEC alleges that Marco and Bebe Ramirez and three companies they own have fraudulently raised at least $5 million from investors by falsely promising that their money would be invested as part of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program. Through the program, foreign investors can earn conditional visas and eventually green cards by making investments in U.S. economic development projects that will create or preserve a minimum number of jobs for U.S. workers. Instead of investing the money as promised, the Ramirezes routinely diverted investor funds to other undisclosed businesses and for their personal use. In at least one instance, they used new investor funds to make Ponzi-like payments to an existing investor.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Ronald E. Walblay, Energy Securities, Inc., and RyHolland Fielder, Inc., Civil Action No. 9:13-cv-80978 (S.D. FL.)

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged the owner of two Florida-based companies with defrauding investors in five oil and gas offerings by misrepresenting such key facts as the amount of available reserves, the use of investor funds, and his past success in the oil and gas industry.

The SEC alleges that Ronald Walblay of Delray Beach, Fla., perpetrated the fraud through RyHolland Fielder Inc., which has managed a number of oil and gas limited partnerships, and his former brokerage firm Energy Securities Inc., which sold the partnerships’ interests – none of which were registered with the SEC as required under the federal securities laws. Walblay raised at least $12 million from more than 195 U.S. and foreign investors by falsely touting in sales brochures that RyHolland Fielder offered millions of barrels of oil and natural gas reserves. Walblay also falsely touted in offering materials that investors could receive potential returns of up to 2,270 percent. Meanwhile, not a single investor had ever profited from any of the partnerships, and Walblay used a greater percentage of investor funds than was disclosed to pay salaries and marketing expenses for investor conferences.

The Securities and Exchange Commission Sanctions Johnny Clifton for Antifraud and Failure to Supervise Violations

The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) recently announced that it barred Johnny Clifton, who was president, chief executive officer, and principal of MPG Financial, LLC, a former Commission-registered broker-dealer, from associating with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization, entered a cease-and-desist order, and imposed a $150,000 third-tier civil money penalty. The Commission found that Clifton violated Sections 17(a)(1), 17(a)(2), and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933 because he made material misrepresentations and omissions in the offer and sale of oil-and-gas limited partnership interests, and through those misrepresentations, omissions, and other misconduct he engaged in a fraudulent scheme and course of business that operated as a fraud on prospective investors. The Commission also found that Clifton violated Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 because he failed reasonably to supervise at least one MPG Financial sales representative with a view towards detecting and preventing the sales representative’s securities law violations. Concluding that it was in the public interest to impose a full collateral bar on Clifton, the Commission stated that “[h]is repeated and egregious misconduct evidences an unfitness to participate in the securities industry that goes beyond the professional capacity in which he was acting” and “demonstrates his unfitness to participate in the securities industry in any capacity.”

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Florida Oil and Gas Private Placement Fraud and Misrepresentation Attorney, Russell L. Forkey, Esq.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Bret Boteler, Civil Action No. 4:13-cv-00527-Y (N.D.TX., filed June 28, 2013)

SEC Charges Oil and Gas Promoter with Securities Fraud

Limited Partnership Breach of Contract, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Mismanagement and Misrepresentation Commercial and Business State and Federal Court Litigation Attorney:

A Limited Partnership is an organization made up of a General Partner, who manages the entity, and limited partners, who invest money but have limited liability, are who are not involved in the day-to-day management and operation of the venture.  With certain exceptions, limited partners usually cannot lose more than their invested capital.  Limited partnerships are engaged in business ventures such as real estate, oil and gas and equipment leasing.

Public limited partnerships are sold through brokerage firms by the use of written offering documents.  Private limited partnerships can be offered through various means. Regardless, each offering method must comply with federal and state securities laws.  

Joseph Hilton a/k/a Joseph Yurkin Barred from the Securities Industry

Joseph Hilton a/k/a Joseph Yurkin (Hilton), of Boca Raton, Florida, has been barred from the securities industry. The sanction was ordered in an administrative proceeding before an administrative law judge, following a February 2013 injunction against violations of the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws. Although subject to a broker-dealer bar, Hilton, using various misrepresentations and omissions and other fraudulent conduct, including managing a boiler room, sold unregistered securities in the form of limited partnership units.

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