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SEC Charges Houston American With Fraud

Jaclyn Jaeger | August 5, 2014

The Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges this week against oil and gas company Houston American Energy and its CEO John Terwilliger for making fraudulent claims about the company’s oil and gas reserves.

According to the SEC, Houston American and Terwilliger fraudulently claimed that it held between one billion and four billion barrels of oil reserves relating to an oil-and-gas concession project in Colombia, and that the reserves were worth more than $100 per share to Houston American’s investors. In actuality, Houston American owned only a fractional interest of the oil reserves. “The estimates lacked any reasonable basis and were falsely attributed to the concession’s operator, whose actual estimates were much lower,” the SEC stated. 

Contrary to the lofty estimates made by Terwilliger and Houston American, the company participated in drilling multiple...

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