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[SOS] Secretary of State investigation leads to arrest in oil well scam
Start Date: 4/12/2013 All Day
End Date: 4/12/2013
Entry Description

Evansville man allegedly sold unlicensed investments for his personal gain  

INDIANAPOLIS (April 12, 2013) — An investigation by Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s Prosecution Assistance Unit led to the filing of criminal charges by Posey County Prosecutor Travis Clowers against John M. Shamo of Evansville.  He was arrested late last night for allegedly selling unregistered investments in oil wells. Shamo is charged with selling the investments in Posey County, Indiana and Jefferson County, Illinois through his company Hopper Resources, Inc.

“Gas and oil schemes are some of the most common forms of investment fraud that come across my desk,” said Secretary of State Connie Lawson. “I hope this case serves as a reminder to check with my office to ensure the investment is registered before investing.

“I would also like to thank Prosecutor Clowers for his work. This arrest would not be possible without him.”

Shamo solicited more than $134,000 from three brothers in Posey County who owned the land where the oil wells are located. He told them he would use the money to create an investment opportunity and guaranteed it would produce a profit.

Instead of using the money as promised to his clients, Shamo used the money for his personal gain. Prosecutor Clowers filed charges focused on Shamo’s deceit of the three brothers, but investigators believe there may be as many as 17 other victims in the Posey County area.

"I would like to thank the Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Investigator Charles Williams, and Attorney Diana Moers for their investigation which ultimately lead to the arrest of John Shamo,” said Travis Clower, Posey County Prosecutor. “The Honorable Judge Redwine of the Posey County Circuit Court reviewed charges and set a $1.2 million professional bond or 120,000 cash for Shamo."  

This is still an ongoing investigation. The counts described are allegations. Shamo is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Contact Information:
Name: Vlaerie Kroeger
Phone: 317-233-8655
Email: vkroeger@sos.In.gov
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