Friday, December 13, 2013

SEC Litigation Releases: Week in Review

SEC Awarded $400,000 in Disgorgement from Certified Public Accountant for His Violations of Commission Suspension Order, December 12, 2013, (Litigation Release No. 22887)

A court ruling was entered this week that requires Michael H. Taber to pay the government $400,000 "in compensation he received while suspended from appearing or practicing before the Commission as an accountant."

SEC Halts Texas-Based Oil and Gas Investment Scheme, December 6, 2013, (Litigation Release No. 22886)

According to the complaint (PDF), Robert A. Helms and Janniece S. Kaelin "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." In reality, the majority of these funds was allegedly used to "make Ponzi payments and cover various personal and business expenses." Additionally, Roland Barrera and Deven Sellers have been charged with "illegally selling investments for Helms and Kaelin without being registered with the SEC...[and misleading] investors about the sales commissions and referral fees they were receiving." The court has entered a temporary restraining order against the defendants that freezes their assets, prohibits the destruction of documents, requires them to provide an accounting, and authorizes an expedited discovery. The SEC has charged the defendants with violating various provisions of the securities laws and seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and penalties.

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