Family-owned oil company issued cease and desist order for sale of unlicensed securities
DENVER — Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome has issued a cease and desist order to Bruce and Mark Rafael, both of Coppell, Texas, and to their company, Brucemark Petroleum, Inc. citing the solicitation and sale of unregistered, non-exempt securities to Colorado investors.
The Division of Securities, part of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), alleges that between February 2013 and November 2015, Colorado residents were cold-called and pitched interests in developmental programs for oil wells in Illinois. At least two investors who purchased such interests were over the age of 75. Investigation revealed that the securities being solicited were neither registered nor exempt from registration with the Commissioner, and the salesperson receiving commissions for the sale of the interests was not licensed.
The Division alleges that a number of details were misrepresented to prospective investors. First, the Respondents claimed that field operations and project coordination would be conducted by an “independent operating company” called MDM Energy Inc. In reality, MDM Energy is owned by a relative, Michael Rafael, and operates from the same business address as Brucemark Petroleum.
Additionally, the Division alleges that the Respondents failed to disclose to investors that MDM Energy and Michael Rafael were issued a cease and desist order in 2003 by the Arkansas Securities Commissioner for solicitation of similarly unregistered securities.
“Prospective investors are entitled to full disclosure of facts that might influence their decision to invest in a project, and that clearly wasn’t happening here,” remarked Commissioner Rome. “When the truth is being misrepresented and a company is operating under the radar by failing to register their securities or employees, it’s a definite warning sign that investors’ money is at risk.”
Per the terms of the order, Mark and Bruce Rafael and Brucemark Petroleum have agreed to cease all solicitation and sale of oil and gas interests in the state of Colorado unless such offers comply with the Colorado Securities Act, and have neither admitted nor denied the accusations made by the Division. They acknowledge that any violation of the order constitutes grounds for further action by the Commissioner.
The Division of Securities encourages all investors to research the license and background of a firm or professional before deciding to invest. Visit www.askdora.colorado.gov to learn more.