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SEC Alleges Energy Firm, Executives Made
False Claims on Oil Strikes to Pump Stock

Dec. 16, 2014, 5:00 AM

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit Dec. 15 alleging New Orleans-based oil-and-gas concern Treaty Energy Co. and five of its executives, including founder Ronald Blackburn, manipulated the price of the company’s stock by falsely claiming to have struck substantial oil in Belize and Texas (SEC v. Blackburn, E.D. Tex., 4:14-cv-812, 12/15/14).

At the same time, the SEC said in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas that the company’s outside counsel, Houston-based attorney Samuel Whitley, facilitated the alleged scheme by issuing false legal opinions that allowed free trading in the concern’s restricted stock.

The ...