Securities News Releases
Monday, July 10, 2006
Contact: Stacie Temple, (573) 526-5076
Contact: Mike Seitz, (573) 526-0949
Carnahan puts the Brakes on Unlawful Oil and Gas Scheme
Jefferson City, Missouri -- Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced today that Commissioner of Securities, Matt Kitzi, ordered a Texas-based company named Petro-America Producing Oil and Gas Wells, Inc. to stop unlawfully courting investors in Missouri.
The Securities Division in the Secretary of State's office received a complaint from a concerned Missourian who responded to an advertisement in The Wall Street Journal. The ad, made by Petro-America, offered opportunities to invest in four functional oil wells and five gas wells and asked for an initial investment of $12,500. After inquiring about the ad, the Missouri resident was told he could earn "a couple of grand a month," and that the oil and gas wells were expected to produce nine barrels a day.
An investigation by the Securities Division revealed that Petro-America was not a registered agent or issuer of securities in Missouri, and neither were its officers, James Kosanke and Robert Harris. The investments offered by the group were not registered either.
"In this case, a Missouri resident wisely contacted our office's Investor Hotline before investing his hard-earned money into this company. That quick phone call may have saved him from being a victim of investment fraud and losing a significant amount of money," said Carnahan.
Earlier this month, Carnahan issued an investor alert warning Missourians about oil and gas scams. In that release, Carnahan noted that some individuals were taking advantage of rising fuel prices by attempting to trick Missourians into investing in phony oil, gas, and other energy ventures.
"With the rising price of gas at the pumps, oil and gas investment scams are on the rise in Missouri," said Carnahan. "I encourage investors to be cautious and to contact our office before putting their money into oil, gas, or other alternative energy ventures."
For more information regarding investments and fraud protection, or for information regarding a company or representative, visit the Secretary of State's web site at www.sos.mo.gov/securities or call the toll-free investor hotline at 1-800-721-7996.