aquifer, Charles Couch, clean water, climate, Couch oil, Couch Oil and Gas Inc, drilling for oil and gas, environment, fraud, Haiti, Paret Petroleum, Port-au-Prince, risks of oil and gas drilling, SEC, US SEC
The fraud accusations had to do with the US and not Haiti. Paret Petroleum is owned by Haitians or Haitian-Americans and has also been active outside of Haiti. The accusations do not appear to implicate them. Nonetheless, they have not removed Charles Couch from their web site.
Charles Couch was listed as a Paret Petroleum Senior Advisor, in 2012, said to have “45 years of experience in experience oil and gas Industry“; “CEO and Founder of Couch oil and gas”. Couch said on his now defunct web site (but available in the Wayback machine and Linkedin): “My purpose is simple: drill low-cost, high yield wells to maximize the efforts and investments of myself and my partners”. https://web.archive.org/web/20120102214147/http://www.couchoil.com/OurStory/tabid/55/Default.aspx
Our blog observed four years ago in “Drilling for Oil in Port-au-Prince – Poisoning its Main Water Supply?”: This is worrisome in the context of Haiti and its special geological needs. The complexity of the geology means that even he may pay dearly for low returns, although not as high a price as Haiti and its people.
“SEISMIC, GEOLOGY, GEOPHYSICAL, ENGINEERING, DRILLING & PRODUCTION ADVISORY TEAM Charles Couch, CEO of http://www.CouchOil.com, successful veteran “wildcatter” and oilfield services Entrepreneur operationally focused on low drilling and operating costs, state-of-the-industry geological and geophysical analysis. Humanitarian/Philanthropic interests include www.WaterIsBasic. org which strives to drill fresh water wells as an ancillary part of oil & gas drilling/production, to benefit the local communities.”
“U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23536 / May 11, 2016
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Charles O. Couch and Couch Oil & Gas Inc., Civil Action No. 3:14-cv-01747-D (NDTX) (May 9, 2016)
Oil and Gas Investment Scheme Perpetrators Settle SEC Charges
On May 9, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas entered a final judgment against Charles O. Couch of Irving, Texas and his company, Couch Oil & Gas Inc., enjoining them from offering or selling securities and from violating antifraud and securities registration provisions of the federal securities laws. The final judgment also requires them to pay more than $7 million in monetary relief.
The Commission filed its case on May 12, 2014, alleging that Couch and his company falsely claimed that investors would receive working interests in oil and gas wells when Couch and Couch Oil & Gas retained those working interests and never transferred them to investors. The complaint also alleged that offering materials given to investors contained unsubstantiated and inflated projections about anticipated production and that the defendants commingled and misapplied investor proceeds by using funds from one project to pay expenses in another without investors’ knowledge and contrary to what the defendants promised.
The final judgment enjoins Couch and Couch Oil & Gas from issuing, purchasing, offering, or selling any securities in the future, except for their own account. It also enjoins them from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933. The judgment further orders Couch and Couch Oil & Gas to pay disgorgement of $6,260,025, plus $811,788.87 in prejudgment interest. Each defendant must also pay a civil penalty of $300,000. The defendants consented to the entry of the judgment without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint.
The SEC’s litigation was led by Janie L. Frank, Timothy L. Evans, Jessica Magee, and David Reece of the Fort Worth Regional Office. The matter was investigated by Tamara McCreary, Ty Martinez, Joseph Dugan, Douglas Gordimer, and Jonathan Scott. David Peavler supervised the matter.
For further information, see Litigation Release No. 22990 (May 13, 2014).
A Wes Becker is also still listed as an advisor to Paret Petroleum. This may, or may not, be the one who was accused of fraud. The short of this case is that Wes Becker of Stanford Illinois was fined $1,250 for selling at least one ATNG stock (unfortunately we don’t know how many) to an Illinois resident when he was not registered to sell stock and the stock itself was not registered in the state of Illinois. Some excerpts from the ruling: “… WHEREAS, the Respondent has acknowledged, while neither admitting or denying the truth thereof, that the allegations contained in paragraph seven (7) of the Stipulation shall be adopted as the Secretary of State’s Findings of Fact as follows: 1. That Respondent, Wes Becker, is an individual with a last known address of 8220 East 850 North Road, Stanford, I l l i n o i s ; 2. That on or about April 27, 2001, Wes Becker, offered and/or sold to at least one (1) I l l i n o i s resident, shares of ATNG, Inc. stock; 3. That the above-referenced shares of ATNG, Inc. stock is a security as that term is defined pursuant to Section 2.1. of the I l l i n o i s Securities Law of 1953 [815 ILCS 5/1 et seq. ] (the “Act”); … 7. That Section 12. C of the Act states, inter alia, that i t shall be a violation of the Act for any person to act as a dealer or salesperson unless registered as such, where such registration is required;…” http://www.ilsos.gov/adminactionssearch/adminactionssearch?command=viewPDF&itemId=92%203%20ICM7%20PRODCMZ13%20SE_AA_MgtView59%2026%20A1001001A13C07A95829D4114118%20A13C07A95829D411411%2014%201051 The security being illegally traded is ATNG. This is one of many interesting things found online about ATNG. In Tennessee: “Case ID: CT-005924-01 – CONAWAY BROWN, INC. VS ATNG, INC. -Non-jury Trial Filing Date: Tuesday , September 25th, 2001 Type: BC – BREACH OF CONTRACT Status: CBSATISFY – COST BILL SATISFIED” http://circuitdata.shelbycountytn.gov/crweb/ck_public_qry_doct.cp_dktrpt_docket_report?backto=D&case_id=CT-005924-01&begin_date=&end_date=
There is a lot more about ATNG online. Its low value and concerns of online investors looks a bit like Majescor. However, to our knowledge, Majescor has done nothing illegal, although their constant devaluation of stock has amounted to robbery of investors. But, they are legally allowed to do this. If we recall correctly, one of the now-deceased people involved with FCDH (First City Development Haiti), also in Illinois, was involved in selling its shares illegally in Illinois. They were being called out on this when they died. We cannot really tell anyone what, if anything, this indicates. But, we encourage those interested to continue to dig deeper. We do believe that Haiti has been, is being or will be fracked for oil. It could be that the fracking was done historically, like much of the gold mining.