Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Petro America case lands another guilty plea

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Another Petro scam artist pleads guilty.
  • Another Petro scam artist pleads guilty.

On Tuesday, an Independence man became the eighth defendant in the Petro America securities scam case to plead guilty. Curtis White, 56, copped to his role in the scheme that defrauded investors of $7.2 million. The Pitch wrote in 2010 about the scam that largely succeeded by using ministers to sell their congregations worthless stock in Petro, which the preachers described as a thriving company worth $284 billion.

The reality was that Petro was a made-up worthless company that had no assets or revenue. White was a minister in Grandview, according to a press release from federal prosecutors. White got involved with Petro in 2008 and was a member of a clique of Petro-pushing ministers who wore matching white fedoras. The group was known as the "White Hat Guys." Prosecutors say White was given free shares of Petro that he sold for $100. His shares were replenished as he sold them. White earned a total of $75,300 from the fraud.

He faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and an order of restitution.

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