Attorney Richard LaGarde Cautions Investors on Oil and Gas Fraud

Law Firm Newswire



Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 11, 2014 – The U.S. oil and gas boom has lasted almost five years so far, and signs of a bust have not yet been spotted. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the oil and gas industry in Texas created more than 20,000 jobs in the past year alone. New Mexico recorded 2013 as its highest-production year to date, and current 2014 performance suggests that the state may well top itself again. Investment opportunities have soared along with the industry.

Richard LaGarde is the founder of LaGarde Law Firm, which is based in Houston, Texas and Lafayette, Louisiana. The firm specializes in legal disputes tied to oil, gas and the work involved in producing them. LaGarde is enthusiastic about the future of the industry, but he cautions against blind faith in investment opportunities. 

“Unfortunately, there will always be dishonest people looking to profit from the hope and enthusiasm investors bring to the boom — not from the oil or the investment itself,” LaGarde said.

LaGarde recommended that prospective investors review offers carefully and with patience. “In my experience, fraudsters often show themselves in the details. Be wary of companies that contact you with an offer in one state, but are based in another and drill in yet another. Watch out for anyone who pressures you to act quickly to secure an investment, promises the impossible or reaches out to you with unsolicited calls. You can help protect yourself from fraud with a healthy sense of skepticism.”

In the last month, the SEC has brought at least two major charges against allegedly fraudulent organizations in Texas. The SEC claims that Chimera Energy Corp. lied about its contracts and preyed upon environmentally friendly investors, claiming to have developed an eco-conscious alternative to fracking. In a separate case, the SEC is bringing charges against Houston American Energy Corp., citing the company for wildly exaggerating the quantity of oil available in a Colombian venture.

“If you have fallen victim to oil and gas fraud, reach out to an experienced legal team as soon as possible,” LaGarde advised.

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