I always thought that I was smart.
I graduated from college. I was recruited by reputable companies and accepted a position with one of them. I worked hard. My boss appreciated my work. I was given several promotions. I was rewarded with a comfortable income. I’m thinking that I’m on my way to living the “American Dream.”
I got married. I bought a nice house in the suburbs and have three wonderful children. My wife and I have provided for our children. We saved for our retirement. Now I was looking for opportunities to better provide for our retirement. What could go wrong? To my surprise, a lot. It cost me dearly.
One day “out of the blue” I received a phone call from a person who told me that he represents a very successful oil and gas company in Texas, and wanted to let me know that the company just had purchased an oil and gas lease which is directly adjacent to a lease Exxon-Mobil is operating, and that the wells on Exxon-Mobil’s lease are sending its investors very high returns. The salesman made glowing statements about the revenue he expects this lease to pay out to those who invest in his company’s project. “This is a can’t-miss opportunity with minimal risks.” “Even I invested in this program.” “We’ve hit on our last 12 wells.” He even used, what I later found out to be one of the most commonly used sales pitches, “One of my clients in Florida is a doctor and he was going to invest $250,000.00, but he was just served with divorce papers, so he has to back out….do you want all or a part of his investment?”
These salesmen are good. You agree to have him mail you the brochure regarding this investment. You receive it the very next day. It contains fancy graphs, geological statistics, and other information. It does look impressive.
The next day or so you receive another phone call from the salesman and he entices you to invest in this “guaranteed” oil and gas program. You mail your sizeable check.
A few months go by and you have not heard from anyone at the company regarding your investment. You decide to call the salesman and inquire as to the status of the drilling, production, etc. of the well. Some of his likely responses are: “A problem with the title to the land just came up, but our attorneys are getting it fixed.” “The operator was just pulled to another major project, which has caused a slight delay.” “Some of the operator’s equipment unexpectedly broke, and he’s been waiting for replacement parts.” Or one of the most common responses, “The weather has set us back a few weeks.”
You give him the benefit of the doubt. You wait, and wait and wait. Yet you do not receive one revenue check. Not a penny.
Now you are worried. You make more calls, and finally the salesman returns a call. He gives you the news no investor in any oil and gas project wants to hear. “The well was a ‘dry hole.’”
Now what do you do? We can help.
Our firm has represented over 125 people all over the United States who have been victims of unscrupulous oil and gas companies. As a result, we know what to do. Since most of these companies operate in the same manner we have been able to efficiently represent investors in their efforts to get back their investments, and more.
We know what claims to make against the other side. Usually, the most important one is that your investment is a “security” under Texas law. Importantly, the Texas Securities Act allows the investor to sue the: (1) oil & gas company; (2) salesman; and (3) “control person” of the company – who is the person who operates the company or makes the decision regarding the oil and gas project. Also, Texas law allows the investor to recover:
(1) to total amount invested;
(2) pre-judgment interest;
(3) court costs;
(4) reasonable attorney’s fees;
(5) exemplary damages; and
(6) post-judgment interest.
Texas laws are powerful tools to go after these defendants. Use those laws.
If you believe you were scammed, we are here to help.
Mark A. Alexander
5080 Spectrum Suite 850
Addison, Texas 75001