Petro-Suisse Ltd, Mark Gasarch Face Fraud Charges

Jack Humphrey, Regulatory journalist
August 15, 2012 /

The Securities and Exchange Commission has rapped Petro-Suisse Ltd. and Mark Gasarch for offering fraud.

Gasarch, Petro-Suisse’s director, treasurer, and legal counsel allegedly rigged 21 private placements memorandums (PPMs) related to the purchase and sale of 21 limited partnership interests offered by Petro-Suisse to finance the drilling of oil wells in Trinidad.

The PPMs stated that Petro-Suisse or an affiliate, as general partner of the 21 limited partnership offerings, would cause each of the 21 partnerships to enter into written agreements. The partnerships would be used to finance the drilling of oil wells in Trinidad for which they would receive contractual rights to receive returns measured by the net revenues of the wells drilled and payable out of those revenues.

The PPMs contained materially false and misleading information because the partnerships never entered into any such written agreements.

The SEC orders Gasarch and Petro-Suisse to pay $8,370,000 in disgorgement, deemed satisfied by the previous payments made by Petro-Suisse to the limited partnership investors, and for Gasarch to pay a $130,000 civil penalty.

The proposed settlements are awaiting approval of the district court.


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