The SEC charged New Orleans-based oil-and-gas company Treaty Energy Corporation and five executives with running a stock trading scheme in which they claimed to have struck oil in Belize in order to manipulate the price of the company’s stock as they illegally sold restricted shares to the public. According to the SEC, Treaty Energy issued deceptive press releases touting drilling successes in Belize and Texas to induce investor demand for its unregistered stock, which was then illegally distributed to the public. The SEC alleges that Treaty Energy’s founder Ronald Blackburn and four company officers – Andrew V. Reid, Bruce A. Gwyn, Lee C. Schlesinger, and Michael A. Mulshine – obtained at least $3.5 million in illicit profits from the scheme. SEC
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