The U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) said on Monday that it has reached an $11 million settlement with a Kansas City company accused of orchestrating and oil and gas fraud.
The SEC said in a statement that Missouri-based JBH Consulting Group and its president and CEO Brian Hudnall raised over $14 million in “at least 18 fraudulent oil-and-gas joint ventures.”
The SEC alleges that JBH and Hudnall provided investors with offering documents that contained “untrue and misleading statements about the investments.”
According to the agency’s complaint, the documents provided by JBH misrepresented who held title to the working interests, overstated expected well costs, misrepresented the use of the offering proceeds and failed to disclose “preferential treatment given to certain investors.”
According to a copy of the complaint provided by the SEC, the alleged scheme ran from September 2008 through at least June 2014.
The SEC alleged in its complaint that none of the relevant securities offerings were registered with the agency.
The SEC added that “none of the individuals working for JBH to sell the securities, including Hudnall, were licensed or associated with registered brokers.”
“Through the false and misleading securities offerings, JBH and Hudnall raised millions of dollars from dozens of investors nationwide, with Hudnall personally receiving over $3 million for himself,” the SEC said in its complaint.
Hundall, 39, incorporated JBH in June 2007.
According to the complaint, JBH has never been registered with the Commission nor has it ever registered any offering of securities under the Securities Act or any class of securities under the Exchange Act.
The SEC said that JBH and Hudnall have each consented to the entry of a final judgment without admitting or denying the agency’s allegations.
The final judgement will permanently enjoin both JBH and Hundall from violating the provisions of the federal securities laws included in the complaint.
Hudnall has consented to an industry bar in a related administrative proceeding, the SEC said.
JBH and Hudnall also agreed to pay disgorgement totaling just over $10.7 million plus prejudgment interest of about $1.21 million.
JBH and Hudnall also agreed to pay civil penalties of $160,000 each.
The settlements are still subject to court approval.
The complaint was filed in the United States District Court of the Western District of Missouri Western Division.