FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Pam duPré
(Carson City, NV; May 12, 2010) – Saying they pose an immediate danger to the public welfare, Secretary of State Ross Miller’s Securities Administrator this week issued a Cease and Desist Order against several Nevada firms and their sales representatives for selling unregistered securities and operating without the proper licenses.
Nevada Securities Administrator Carolyn Ellsworth says Energy Ventures, LLC, Upstream Ventures, Emergent Value Group, Energy Venture Fund, and Upstream Ventures, LLC, all with Las Vegas addresses, and Upstream Ventures, LLC of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and their representatives James Everett Franklin, II, and Phillip J. Shaheen, Jr., both of Las Vegas, used text messages and emails to offer securities in the form of partnership interests or investment contracts in oil and gas leases. The Cease and Desist Order was issued when investigators determined that the securities being offered were not properly registered and the sales agents were not properly licensed as required by state law. In addition, two of the firms do not have current company formation documents on file with the Secretary of State’s Commercial Recordings Division.
“This is another example of how individual investors can easily protect themselves by doing some simple checking before they invest,” Secretary Miller said. “It takes just a few minutes for people who are pondering an investment to call my office to make sure the security and the people offering them are properly registered and licensed. That should be the first step individuals take to determine if a particular offering is the right investment for them.”
Securities investigators say Franklin and Sheehan sent unsolicited text messages offering Nevada oil leases with “billion+ barrel potential.” People who responded to the text messages were encouraged to include their family and friends in the deal.
Other state and federal regulators have also taken action against Franklin and his firms. The Cease and Desist Order states that California and Kansas have taken action against him for offering similar oil and gas deals. In a separate action, the federal Securities and Exchange Commission has found that Franklin violated federal securities laws and has barred him from participating in any way in the sale of penny stocks.
The two men have the right to request a hearing within 45 days of receiving the Cease and Desist Order. If they do not request a hearing or waive their rights to it, the Securities Administrator may issue a permanent order and seek criminal prosecution.
The Securities Division would like to hear from anyone who may have invested with any of these firms or their representatives. Individuals in Clark County can call 702-486-2440 or toll free from elsewhere in the state at 1-800-758-6440.
For more information on how to check out an offer before you invest, visit Nevada Secretary of State : Securities Division Publications