Litigation Release No. 23904 / August 11, 2017

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Sethi Petroleum, et al., No. 15-civ-00338 (E.D. Tex. filed May 19, 2015)

Court Orders Perpetrator of Oil-and-Gas Fraud to Pay More than $4 Million

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained a final judgment against Sameer P. Sethi, against whom the SEC previously obtained an asset freeze and appointment of a receiver in connection with fraudulent oil and gas investment offerings.

The final judgment, entered on August 7, 2017 by the Honorable Amos L. Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, orders Sethi to pay more than $4 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest and a civil penalty of $160,000. The final judgment also permanently enjoins Sethi from the purchase or sale of securities and from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

The court's entry of judgment, which follows a December 2016 grant of summary judgment to the SEC on all its claims against Sethi, resolves the SEC's litigation in its entirety, pending the receiver's final report.

The court previously found Sameer Sethi, his father, Praveen, and their associate, attorney John Weber in contempt for violating the court's preliminary injunction against Sameer. The court found that Weber and the Sethis created a new company, Cambrian Resources, LLC, for the purpose of evading the court's injunction in order to raise additional investor funds. In its contempt order, the court instructed Weber and the Sethis to cease and desist from offering or selling securities and operating Cambrian, and further ordered them to return investment funds to Cambrian's investors. The Sethis and Weber cured their contempt by ceasing operations at Cambrian and returning the money they had raised.

The SEC's litigation was led by Matthew Gulde and Timothy Evans and supervised by Jessica Magee.