U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20139 \ June 1, 2007
Securities and Exchange Commission v. O.J. Chidolue, Civil Action No. 1: 07-MC-00247 (D.D.C.) (filed June 1, 2007).
Commission Files Subpoena Enforcement Action Against O.J. Chidolue
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an application on June 1, 2007, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for an order to enforce an investigative subpoena served on O.J. Chidolue of Houston, Texas. The Commission's application and supporting papers allege that, on February 2, 2006, the Commission issued a formal order of private investigation authorizing its staff to investigate whether ERHC Energy Inc., a Colorado-incorporated, publicly-traded company operating out of Houston, Texas ("ERHC"), and others may have violated certain of the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions of the federal securities laws. On November 15, 2006, the Commission served an investigative subpoena on Chidolue, requiring him to produce documents relevant to the investigation and to appear before the Commission staff for testimony. The Commission alleges that, despite a number of extensions of time granted to Chidolue, as of the date of the application, he has failed to produce the subpoenaed documents and has failed to appear for testimony. Accordingly, the Commission seeks a court order to compel him to produce the subpoenaed documents and to appear for testimony.
The Commission alleges that Chidolue, an attorney licensed and practicing in Houston, Texas, is counsel for Chrome Energy, LLC ("Chrome Energy"), a Delaware limited liability company also based in Houston, Texas. Chrome Oil Services Ltd., a subsidiary of Chrome Energy, is the majority shareholder of ERHC. The Commission further alleges that, in addition to Chidolue's legal representation of Chrome Energy, he also served, during at least a portion of the time period of 2005-2007, as the Secretary and a director of Chrome Management Services Inc. ("Chrome Management"). Chrome Management is a Texas corporation affiliated with Chrome Energy. The Commission's subpoena required Chidolue to produce, among other things, certain documents concerning the business activities of ERHC, Chrome Energy, and its affiliates.
A hearing on the Commission's application has not yet been scheduled.