Pastors Plead Guilty To $7M Securities Swindle

Law360, New York (June 15, 2011, 4:21 PM EDT) -- Two ordained ministers on Tuesday pled guilty in Missouri federal court to taking part in a $7.2 million securities fraud that peddled unregistered stock in a bogus oil and gold company to churchgoers and other investors.

Defendants Edward Halliburton and Joseph Harrell entered plea agreements and agreed to pay restitution to the victims of the Petro America Corp. swindle, which bilked millions of dollars from thousands of investors duped by claims the company was a godsend worth $284 billion.

The defendants initially acquired shares of Petro...
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