Whitworth Energy Resources, Ltd., Williston Basin Holding Corp., Amerivest Financial Group
On September 22, 1997, the SEC obtained temporary restraining orders, asset freezes, and other emergency relief, against Whitworth Energy Resources, Ltd. and Williston Basin Holdings Corp., managing general partners of at least 18 oil and gas offerings, Amerivest Financial Group, an affiliated registered broker-dealer, and their principals. The SEC alleged that the defendants fraudulently raised over $16 million from more than 500 investors, purportedly to invest in oil and gas leases. They actually operated, however, a Ponzi-like scheme. For more information about the SEC's action, you can read Litigation Release Nos.15505 (Sept. 24, 1997), 15534 (Oct. 16, 1997), 16111 (Apr. 14, 1999), and 16463 (Mar. 7, 2000).
The Court appointed Thomas F. Lennon as Receiver. He has overseen the operation of the oil and gas leases and has sold most of the companies' holdings. While the Receiver continues to dispose of assets, he had advised the Court that he does not anticipate a distribution will be made to investors.