Two men are accused of committing fraud in Colorado Springs, relating to an oil drilling investment firm they’ve operated in the city for the last 12 years.
As our Colorado Springs fraud attorneys understand the situation, the two men were accused by the federal government of committing a $180 million gas investment fraud scheme in Dallas before they moved their operation here.
Under state law, fraud is basically defined as a situation in which a person or company intentionally makes untrue or misleading representations about an important event or fact. That false representation is believed by the victim, who then relies or acts upon it, and subsequently suffers either money or property as a result.
In this case, the individuals are accused of amassing some 200 victims, whom they allegedly conned into investing in oil drilling. This would not be an issue, except that state regulators allege that these two men, as well as a law firm and 10 others, were selling illegal securities with misrepresentation and high-pressure sales tacks. State officials said that sales took place in Colorado Springs, Greenwood Village and Englewood, with agents claiming a 90 percent success rate on other wells they had dug and promising a return on investment somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 percent. However, state officials say the actual success rate of the company and the rate of returns was far less.
One elderly woman reported that she and her sister invested some $500,000 and lost all but about $25,000.
The companies involved, however, have denied these allegations and countersued. These allegations bear striking comparison to those that were lodged against the company by the federal government back in 1993. One of the men settled the claims, while the other fought it and won.
The state has taken a heavy hand in recent years against companies that offer oil and gas venture partnerships, saying that there continue to be abuses.
The most recent allegations involve the loss of tens of millions of dollars, according to The Denver Post.
One of the issues that may play a prominent role in the upcoming legal proceedings will be whether or not the investors knew what they were getting into. While the state contends that not only did the company misrepresent the returns, but that the investors they targeted were elderly, unsophisticated and infirm. The company, meanwhile, contends that its investors were keenly aware of the risks and that most are, in fact, satisfied.