Publicly available records provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 24, 2016 indicate that the SEC has filed charges against four companies and eight individuals in connection to a purported “$80 million oil and gas fraud” allegedly conducted by the CEO of Breitling Energy Corporation, Chris Faulkner. The securities and investment fraud law firm Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Breitling Energy or Mr. Faulkner.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Chris Faulkner has been charged with “disseminated false and misleading offering materials, misappropriating millions of dollars of investor funds and attempting to manipulate BECC’s stock.” Breitling Energy has also been charged, and its securities are suspended from trading.
The SEC alleges that Mr. Faulkner’s scheme began in 2011, when the privately-held Breitling Oil and Gas Corporation offered and sold so-called “turnkey” working interests. The company’s offering materials allegedly “contained false statements and omissions about Faulkner’s experience, estimates for drilling costs, and how investor funds would be used.” The materials also allegedly included reports by a licensed geologist, Joseph Simo, that included “baseless production projections and failed to disclose his affiliation” with Breitling Oil and Gas, which later evolved into Breitling Energy and two “affiliated entities,” Crude Energy and Patriot Energy. According to the SEC, “even though investors thought Hallam and Miller ran these two entities, Faulkner directed much of Crude’s and Patriot’s operations. The SEC alleged that BOG, Crude and Patriot raised more than $80 million from investors as part of these deceptive offerings.”
Mr. Faulkner also allegedly misappropriated “at least $30 million of investor funds for personal expenses,” which included “lavish meals and entertainment, international travel, cars, jewelry, gentlemen’s clubs, and personal escorts.” Other individuals charged with assisting the fraud include Beth Handkins, a former Crude and Patriot employee; Rick Hoover, Chief Financial Officer of Breitling Energy; Breitling Oil and Gas co-owners Parker Hallam and Michael Miller; and Jeremy Wagers, general counsel and Chief Operating Officer of Breitling Energy.
Faulkner, Hallam, Miller, Simo, Handkins, Breitling Oil and Gas, Crude Energy, and Patriot Energy have been charged by the SEC with violating antifraud provisions. Breitling Energy, Faulkner, Wagers, and Hoover have been charged with violating antifraud, reporting, record-keeping, and internal controls provisions of securities laws. Faulkner is also the subject of additional fraud charges. The investigation remains pending.
If you have lost money investing with Breitling Energy, you may be entitled to recoup your losses. Call the securities and investment fraud law firm Fitapelli Kurta at 877-238-4175 for a free consultation. All cases are taken on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if and when you collect money. Time to file your claim may be limited, so we encourage you to avoid delay. Call 877-238-4175 now to speak to an attorney for free.