Petroleum Engineer Settles Charges of Insider Trading Ahead of Oil Discovery Announcement

Litigation Release No. 24096 / April 4, 2018

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Christopher James Lollar, Case No. 5:17-cv-1109 (WDTX) (November 1, 2017)

A petroleum engineer who worked at Texas-based energy company Apache Corporation has agreed to settle SEC charges that he conducted insider trading ahead of a market-moving announcement about the company's discovery of a significant new oil source.

The SEC alleges in its complaint, filed on November 1, 2017, that Christopher J. Lollar traded on nonpublic information while working in the company's San Antonio office that was performing the geologic and geophysical work to explore and develop the newly-discovered resource play called Alpine High. Lollar allegedly conducted trades in Apache shares and call options in the days and weeks leading up to the company's Alpine High announcement on Sept. 7, 2016. The value of Lollar's brokerage account skyrocketed approximately 2,700 percent after the announcement, and his alleged profits from insider trading totaled $214,295.07.

The SEC's complaint charges Lollar with violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Lollar consented, without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, to the entry of a final judgment that permanently restrains and enjoins him from violating Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; and orders him to pay disgorgement of $214,295.07 plus $7,219.36 in interest and a $214,295.07 penalty for a total of $435,809.50.

The SEC's investigation was conducted in the Fort Worth office by Tamara F. McCreary and Ty S. Martinez with assistance from Christopher Davis.

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