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SEC Charges Matthew Carl Griffin and William Daniel Griffin with Fraud

Nov. 28, 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a civil action charging brothers Matthew Carl Griffin and William Daniel Griffin for their actions in connection with fraudulently offering interests in two Texas partnerships. The SEC alleges that, between November 2013 and July 2014, the Griffins, through their company, Payson Petroleum, Inc., conducted a fraudulent two-phase offering of interests raising $23 million from approximately 150 investors for the purpose of developing three oil and gas wells, and that the Griffins misled investors about Payson’s promised participation in the program and about Payson’s compensation as the program’s sponsor and operator.

Among other misrepresentations, the SEC alleged that the Griffins misrepresented to the investors that Payson would contribute, up-front, 20 percent of the offering amount and that Payson’s consideration as program sponsor/operator/co-investor would be limited to 20 percent of any petroleum revenue generated by the wells. However, the SEC alleges that Payson actually contributed no money to the offering and appropriated the entirety of the offering proceeds net of offering costs.

Without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC’s complaint, the Griffins have each consented to a permanent obey-the-law injunction, and disgorgement and a civil penalty in amounts to be determined by the Court.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Jeffrey Cohen, Keith Hunter, Jessica Magee and David Reece of the SEC's Fort Worth Regional Office. David L. Peavler supervised the case. Janie Frank will lead the litigation.

More information is available here.

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