Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kander statement on conviction of executives behind Petro America scam

 — Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander today announced the conviction of five individuals who played a role in a get-rich-quick scheme that cost thousands of American investors over $10 million with over 300 of those investors from Missouri. The Securities Division of his office originally investigated the case in 2008 and the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri obtained this conviction after a referral from the Securities Division.
“My office is dedicated to preventing Missourians from being targeted by fraudulent companies,” Kander said. “I am glad that our justice system has brought those behind the Petro America scam to justice. Petro America used unrealistic promises to entice unsuspecting investors, encouraging them to invest in a non-existent company. This is a ploy commonly used by fraudsters. I encourage all Missourians to check with my office prior to making investments to ensure the investment and person offering it are registered.”
Investors were sold shares to a bogus company called Petro America. Unknowing to the investors, the CEO and his four other individuals spent this money on personal expenditures such as designer suits, international travel and SUVs. On November 12, 2008 the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office issued a cease and desist order against the company. In addition to misappropriating the investments, the Missouri Securities Division discovered that the CEO of Petro America, Isreal Hawkins, was in fact not registered to offer investments in the state of Missouri.

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