Wellco Energy Owner Settles SEC Order
Following the September 20, 2011 Securities and Exchange Commission issuance of an order instituting proceedings against Justin William Rifkin, the respondent has submitted an Offer of Settlement to the SEC.
Solely for the purpose of settling these proceedings and any other proceedings brought by or on behalf of the SEC, Rifkin agreed to the entry of the order.
Rifkin, 31, resides in Corpus Christi, Texas. From May 2007 through June
2009, Rifkin was the managing member and owner of Wellco Energy L.L.C., which he operated in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
He and other salesmen under his direction offered and sold securities in the form of fractional undivided interests in oil and gas rights in four projects operated by another Colorado company.
He was engaged in the business of effecting transactions in securities for the account of others for which he received compensation. However, from May 2007 through June 2009, Rifkin was not registered with the SEC as a broker or dealer, and was not associated with a broker or dealer registered with the Commission.
On August 31, 2011, a final judgment was entered against Rifkin in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
The Commission’s complaint alleged that in connection with sale of fractional undivided interests in oil and gas rights, Rifkin misrepresented that Wellco was the operator of the four oil and gas projects.
The complaint also alleged that Wellco did not operate the projects
and instead purchased fractional undivided interests from another company, which interests it further divided and resold to investors. The complaint further alleged that Rifkin misrepresented that he had extensive experience in operating oil and gas prospects.
The complaint also alleged that in fact, Rifkin’s experience was limited to raising money through sales of other oil and gas projects, and he had no experience operating oil and gas wells. The complaint further alleged
that he also misrepresented the use of investors’ funds and did not disclose that he used approximately 42% of investors’ funds to acquire the working interests in the oil and gas wells, but spent the rest on sales commissions and business expenses or for his personal expenses.
The complaint also alleged that Rifkin sold the securities when no registration statement was in effect or filed with the Commission. The complaint also alleged Rifkin was not registered as a broker or dealer, and was not associated with a broker or dealer registered with the Commission during the time when he offered and sold the securities at issue in the case.