8 More Suspects Indicted In $7M Petro Scam

Law360, New York (June 16, 2011, 1:50 PM EDT) -- A federal grand jury in Missouri on Wednesday implicated eight more individuals in a $7 million scheme that involved peddling shares of bogus oil company Petro America Corp. to churchgoers and other investors.

The eight additional defendants, several of them ministers, are charged alongside the alleged ringleader of the Petro fraud, Isreal Owen Hawkins, and his three chief associates with selling unregistered shares and pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims.

“The defendants used religious language in their pitches and often recruited through churches,” the...
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