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Feds accuse Liberty company of $16 million fraud in oil and gas investments

A Liberty company that raised more than $16 million from investors for oil and gas well projects is being sued for violating federal securities laws.

JBH Consulting Group and its president, Brian Hudnall, allegedly made false and misleading statements to potential investors in gas and oil wells in Kansas and Texas, according to the suit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

JBH and Hudnall solicited the investments from dozens of people across the country from 2008 to 2014. Hudnall personally received more than $3 million, according to the suit.

None of the securities being sold were registered with the SEC, according to the suit.

And none of those selling the securities, including Hudnall, were licensed or associated with registered brokers, the SEC alleges in its lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City.

Among the allegations in the suit, the SEC said that the company misrepresented the cost of its offerings and how it would use investor funds. It also allegedly hid “substantial markups” charged to investors.

The company also failed to disclose discounts and other “favorable side deals” made with some investors, including some of their family and friends, according to the suit.

In the suit, the SEC asks that the company “disgorge all ill-gotten gains” from the alleged violations and seeks to prevent the company from committing future violations.

A phone message seeking comment left with the company Monday morning was not immediately returned.

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc

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