Sitting in prison at 80 years of age, James VanBlaricum spent his life scamming oil and gas investors. In 1975 the SEC sued VanBlaricum and his company, Kimberly Oil and Gas, for fraud. VanBlaricum settled, and was enjoined from the securities business. By 2011, more than 10 years after he formed Signal Oil and Gas, the Illinois Security Department issued a cease and desist order for oil and gas investor fraud.

Third Time is Still Not Charming

VanBlaricum’s fraudulent funds must have needed replenishing, as he organized his third oil and gas investment scam in 2013. By 2016, Vanblaricum and others defrauded hundreds of investors out of $10 million. Next stop prison. In 2017 VanBlaricum was sentenced to the big house for 84 months, and ordered to pay over $32 million in restitution. SEC Order for Administrative Proceedings

The latest oil and gas investment fraud schemes were really nothing new. The company, Texas Energy Mutual, LLC, didn’t list VanBlaricum as a director, but he was pulling the strings. In his “Mineral Interest Lease Program,” VanBlaricum and his Texas Gang guaranteed a 10 percent annual return with full repayment of notes within three years. Not so surprisingly, the statements were not even close to the truth. Thunderhead, the name given to multi-oil and gas well drilling programs, consisted of wells never drilled, dry holes and a handful of wells that never barely produced enough crude to fill an oil tanker. SEC Complaint

Not only did VanBlaricum not register the security offerings, but he also used investors’ money on things like an online dating website for Russian brides, international vacations, cars and funding his son’s unrelated business. Ponzi scheme payments were made to disgruntled investors. VanBlaricum’s Texas Gang referred to investor payments as “lulling payments.” Perhaps that sounds better than hush money. SEC Complaint

Current Status of VanBlaricum

VanBlaricum has been sued by individuals, some successfully. Dallas attorney, Mark Alexander successfully represented 124 plaintiffs in a massive, nation-wide oil & gas fraud case against VanBlaricum and obtained a $12,363,278.25 judgment. And, just this year, a public administrative proceeding was opened against VanBlaricum. SEC Order for Administrative Proceedings. Hopefully by the time he gets out of jail, he’ll have retired from the oil and gas Ponzi scheme business

How Could Investor Spot the Scam before Investing?

VanBlaricum’s name was not involved in his third scam, but some named LLC directors and business associates had SEC licenses terminated prior to their involvement in this business. A couple of them had criminal backgrounds. And, the securities were not registered. Most of the oil and gas investors were found via cold calling. Before investing, always do your research. VanBlaricum’s sales staff was paid 10 to 30% of the investor money they bilked from people.

Leading an active senior lifestyle is not usually synonymous with Ponzi schemes, securities investment fraud and earning the title, Securities Fraud Recidivist. But legends are often larger in Texas. The sordid tale, and all the Texas conspirators are identified in the SEC Complaint.

We hope all your oil and gas investments are profitable. But if you find yourself searching for an experienced oil and gas litigation lawyer, we are here to help.

Mark Alexander
5080 Spectrum, Suite 850E
Addison, Texas 75001
Ph: 972.544.6968
Fax: 972.421.1500

Photo of Mark Alexander Mark Alexander

Mark Alexander is the principal of the Firm. In 1979, he earned his undergraduate degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and his law degree at Thomas M. Cooley, Lansing, Michigan, in 1985 (Academic Dean’s List).

Mr. Alexander is licensed…

Mark Alexander is the principal of the Firm. In 1979, he earned his undergraduate degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and his law degree at Thomas M. Cooley, Lansing, Michigan, in 1985 (Academic Dean’s List).

Mr. Alexander is licensed to practice law by the Supreme Courts of the States of Texas (1985) and Michigan (1988), and holds licenses before the following courts: Supreme Court of Texas; Supreme Court of Michigan; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Sixth Circuits; United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas; and the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan. In addition he has been admitted in several other Federal and State Courts to represent Texas clients, who have been engaged in significant litigation in those jurisdictions.

Courts have appointed Mr. Alexander to serve as a receiver, and facilitator in complex litigation lawsuits. Additionally he has been a frequent lecturer for organizations on a variety of business law matters.  Mr. Alexander has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Significantly, Mr. Alexander is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating an attorney can receive.

Additionally, due to the complex nature of its practice, the Firm has an on-going relationship with a legal group that provides litigation support services. This group is comprised of a team of attorneys, whose combined capabilities allow the group to provide nearly 24-hour coverage at crucial times for any case. This arrangement is but one example of the innovative, cutting-edge approach that the Firm provides to its clients in order to improve representation at reduced legal fees.