On October 6, 2017, it was announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission had obtained an emergency relief halting an ongoing fraud perpetrated by the so-called “Frack Master” and two others. The court’s order was entered on September 25, 2017 by Sidney A. Fitzwater. The order froze the assets of Christopher A. Faulkner, Breitling Energy Corporation, and Breitling Oil and Gas Corp. It also appointed a temporary receiver over the assets and enjoined the defendants from violating anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws.
The SEC’s complaint was originally filed on June 24, 2016. It charged 12 defendants and two relief defendants for being involved in a supposed $80 million securities fraud scheme masterminded by Faulkner. The complaint claims that Faulkner misrepresented his experience and education to sell investors working-interest units in several oil and gas projects.
He is also accused of overselling the available units and inflating the estimated costs of the project. The complaint further alleges that Faulkner and his companies commingled and misappropriated investor money, while spending tens of millions for Faulkner’s benefit. Money was supposedly spent on lavish meals, entertainment, cars, jewelry and gentlemen’s clubs.
The SEC also alleges that Faulkner signed false and misleading reports that were submitted to the SEC. Ultimately, it is alleged that investors only received a fraction of the money that they paid into the scheme. After the complaint was filed, the SEC discovered evidence that the trio continued victimizing investors. Based on that evidence, the Securities and Exchange Commission decided to request an asset freeze and injunctive relief. That was ultimately granted.
The defendants remain innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.