SEC accuses Colorado oil company of Ponzi-like scheme

DENVER (AP) — Federal regulators have filed a civil complaint accusing a Denver-based oil and gas exploration company of a "Ponzi-like" scheme affecting roughly 200 investors.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says St. Anselm Exploration Co. sold high-interest promissory notes to investors to raise money to pay earlier investors. The SEC says the company had $62 million in debt when it started defaulting on the notes last year.

The Denver Post reports the complaint was filed against the company and its founder Michael A. Zakroff; President Anna M.R. Wells; Vice President Mark S. Palmer; and Steven S. Etkind, who was responsible for selling promissory notes.

The Post reports Zakroff and an attorney who represents the company in another case didn't return the newspaper's messages Friday.

No criminal charges have been filed.

Information from: The Denver Post,


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