Faulkner’s “debauched” crimes include using Breitling Energy funds to pay off an American Express card the CEO lovingly described as his “whore card,” the federal agency wrote in a complaint filed Friday.
"Since at least 2011, Chris Faulkner has orchestrated a massive, multipronged, and fraudulent scheme that has defrauded hundreds of investors across the country out of approximately $80 million invested in oil-and-gas investments sold by companies he owns and controls," the SEC charged.
"Faulkner has misappropriated at least $30 million in investor funds to maintain a lifestyle of decadence and debauchery."
Breitling Oil and Gas and co-owners Parker Hallam and Michael Miller are among those also charged by the SEC with having assisted Faulkner in fraud. The federal agency has halted Breitling Energy securities trading for 10 business days.
Larry Friedman, an attorney in Dallas who represents Breitling and Faulkner, says his clients "emphatically" deny all charges.
"This reads more like a Grisham novel and less like an SEC complaint," Friedman told a reporter. "It reads like a vendetta. Lots of personal attacks that are uncalled for."
Faulkner paid a public relations firm to carefully manage his public image and book him for TV news guest spots. He appeared regularly on CNBC, CNN, Fox Business News, and hosted a weekly radio show in Dallas, the SEC complaint says.
From the Houston Chronicle:
The SEC alleged that Faulkner masterminded an $80 million oil and gas fraud that included Breitling, three other affiliated energy companies - Crude Energy, Patriot Energy and Breitling Oil and Gas - and eight corporate executives, including Breitling Energy general counsel Jeremy Wagers. Wagers previously practiced law at Houston-based Vinson & Elkins and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Houston.
Faulkner, a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business News and CNN, disseminated false and misleading offering materials, misappropriated tens of millions of dollars of investor funds and attempted to manipulate Breitling Energy's stock, the SEC charged in a 63-page complaint filed Friday in federal court in Dallas. Faulkner was dubbed "frack master" by the media because of his advocacy of the industry, according to Breitling Energy's website.
In June 2014, Faulkner published a book called “The Fracking Truth,” despite having very little experience in the oil-and-gas industry.
More at Bloomberg News. Bloomberg TV had Faulkner on as a guest at least once, by the way.