Judge rejects SEC complaint against oil, gas firm

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 2, 2013 at 8:02 pm •  Published: April 2, 2013

DENVER (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a civil complaint accusing a Denver-based oil and gas exploration company of engaging in a Ponzi-like scheme.

In a ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn also awarded St. Anselm Exploration Co. its costs for defending the complaint.

The Securities and Exchange Commission had accused the company's principals of relying on sales of new promissory notes to raise money to pay earlier investors.

Blackburn ruled the evidence failed to show any of the true hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme. He said the case wasn't about fraud but about company principals running into trouble when the economic downturn of 2008 hit. He says company officials worked quickly to save investors' principal when they realized their business model wasn't working in the economic slump.