SEC Charges Oil and Gas Company and Founder with Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Nathan Halsey and TexStar Oil, Ltd. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, with fraudulently offering securities through misleading investment materials and keeping funds from investors who believed they were investing in an entirely separate company.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texan on February 17, 2016, alleges:
- TexStar and its founder and CEO Halsey raised at least $1.1 million from investors in China and Southeast Asia in fraudulent securities transactions and distributed false promotional materials in an effort to raise more funds.
- These false promotional materials described a successful, asset-rich company that held no profitable oil-and-gas assets, never drilled or produced any wells, and never generated investor returns.
- Halsey invited Chinese investors to Texas, showed them an operating oil well owned by another company, raised funds for an alleged investment in that well, and then kept that money for TexStar, without telling investors.
The SEC’s complaint charges both defendants with violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933. The complaint also charges Halsey with violating Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act by failing to make required SEC filings. The SEC’s complaint seeks permanent injunctions, civil penalties, disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, and other relief against both defendants, as well as a conduct-based injunction and an officer and director bar against Halsey.