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The owner of an oil field acquisition company was charged last week with securities fraud for allegedly bilking more than $7 million from 9,000 investors to fund a lifestyle that included cars, boats, furs, vacations and houses. Several financial institutions, including Mazuma Credit Union, Bank of America, U.S. Bank and at least nine others were used by the firm’s founder to conduct transactions, authorities discovered.

According to a federal criminal complaint filed by the Securities Commissioner of the State of Kansas, Isreal Owen Hawkins, the owner and CEO of Petro America Corp., began the sale of the single issuance of company stock in September 2008 at a cost of $100 per 100,000 shares. Hawkins promised investors the book value of the stock would be $2 per share when Petro went public. Also involved were Teresa Brown, a major Petro shareholder and Johnny Heurung, another shareholder, according to the complaint.

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