Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The SEC filed charges against Berkshire Resources, L.L.C. ("Berkshire"), a Wyoming company purportedly involved in oil and gas exploration, its principals, Jason T. Rose and David G. Rose, the six companies through which Berkshire carried out a securities offering - Berkshire (40L), L.L.P., Berkshire 2006-5, L.L.P., Passmore-5, L.L.P., Gueydan Canal 28-5, L.L.P., Gulf Coast Development #12, L.L.P., Drilling Deep in the Louisiana Water, J.V. (collectively, the "Berkshire Offerings")- alleging securities fraud in connection with an oil and gas offering fraud. In its complaint, the Commission alleges that from April 2006 through December 2007, Berkshire raised approximately $15.5 million from about 265 investors in the U.S. and Canada through a series of unregistered, fraudulent offerings of securities in the form of "units of participation." The defendants marketed the offerings to the public through cold call sales solicitations, and at trade shows and "wealth expositions." The purported purpose of the offerings was to fund oil and gas development projects that Berkshire was to oversee. According to the complaint, Jason Rose was the public face of Berkshire and was held out as its lead manager with significant experience in the oil and gas industry. In reality, Jason Rose had no experience managing an oil and gas company, and David Rose, Jason's father, ran the company behind the scenes. David Rose has an extensive disciplinary history for securities fraud and is facing a criminal indictment in connection with another similar but unrelated oil and gas scam.