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Monday, September 21, 2015

SEC ACCUSES COMPANY PRESIDENT OF TRANSFERRING TWO-THIRDS OF INVESTOR FUNDS INTO PERSONAL ACCOUNT

FROM:  U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION F
Litigation Release No. 23354 / September 18, 2015
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert DeWayne Milligan, Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-07308 (C.D. Cal.)
SEC Charges President of America's Natural Energy with Oil and Gas Investment Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against Robert DeWayne Milligan, who was president of a California-based business known as America’s Natural Energy (“ANE”), for engaging in the fraudulent offering of unregistered securities.

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, from at least May 2010 through May 2014, Milligan raised over $1.3 million from approximately 39 investors in multiple states for ANE, which he represented to be a business engaged in oil and gas exploration in the Williston Basin of North and South Dakota. According to the complaint, ANE was, in reality, primarily a scheme that Milligan used to fund his personal lifestyle, which included cash withdrawals, gambling, travel, and shopping. The SEC alleges that, in raising funds from investors, Milligan made material misstatements and omissions regarding, among other things, the status of ANE’s drilling projects, his business experience, and the use of investor funds, including his transfer of nearly two-thirds of the funds he raised for ANE into his personal bank accounts. As a result of Milligan’s alleged misconduct, ANE’s investors have suffered substantial losses.

The Complaint charges Milligan with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10(b) thereunder. The Commission is seeking a permanent injunction, an accounting, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and civil monetary penalties against Milligan.

This matter was investigated by Lee Robinson and Anne Romero under the supervision of Ian Karpel, all of the SEC’s Denver Regional Office. Zachary Carlyle will lead the litigation.

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