U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23767 / March 3, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Arcturus Corporation, et al., No. 3:13-cv-04861-K (N.D. Tex. filed Dec. 12, 2013)
Court Enters Final Judgment Against Promoters and Sellers of Fraudulent Oil and Gas Investments
On March 2, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a final judgment against all defendants in an action involving fraudulent and unregistered offerings of oil and gas investments.
The final judgment, imposed by the Honorable Ed Kinkeade, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, ordered the investments' promoters - Leon Ali Parvizian and his two Dallas-based companies, Arcturus Corporation and Aschere Energy LLC - to pay disgorgement and civil penalties totaling $15.5 million and imposed permanent injunctions against future violations of the antifraud, registration, and unregistered broker provisions of the federal securities laws. The judgment also ordered Alfredo Gonzalez and AMG Energy, LLC of Dallas, Tx., and Florida-based Robert Balunas and his company R. Thomas & Co., LLC, who sold the investment, collectively to pay monetary remedies totaling $150,000.
The SEC's complaint, filed on December 16, 2013, alleged that, between 2007 and December 2011, Parvizian, through Arcturus and Aschere, raised approximately $22 million from at least 380 investors nationwide. On March 22, 2016, in a 50-page summary judgment order, the court found that Parvizian and his companies committed securities fraud by offering and selling interests in a drilling project in which they had no rights to participate or share profits. The court also found that all defendants had illegally offered and sold unregistered securities, and that Parvizian, Gonzalez, AMG Energy, Balunas, and R. Thomas & Co. acted as unregistered broker-dealers.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Ronda Blair, Ty Martinez, and Barbara Gunn of SEC's Fort Worth Regional Office. Jennifer Brandt, Timothy McCole and David Reece led the SEC's litigation. David Peavler supervised the case.