Five people have been convicted for their role in a scheme that cost thousands of American investors more than $10 million. 300 of those investors were Missourians.
The scam involved the sale of shares to a bogus company called Petro America. Its CEO, Isreal Hawkins, and four other individuals spent the money invested on personal purchases. The Secretary of State’s Office issued a cease and desist order against the company in November of 2008 and referred it to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri. The Missouri Securities Division also uncovered that Hawkins was not registered to offer investments in Missouri.
Secretary of State Jason Kander’s office announced the conviction.