This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Petro Securities Fraud Trial Nears End Of 3rd Week


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) â¿¿ A federal securities fraud trial involving a Kansas City company that claimed to have $284 billion in assets crawled toward the end of its third week Thursday amid a flurry of objections and a judge's admonition to the lead defendant that unnecessary delays would no longer be tolerated.

Isreal Owen Hawkins founded Petro America Corp. in 2007 and started selling stock a year later. He and four others are accused of conspiracy and other crimes in connection with the sale of more than $7 million in unregistered Petro stock to unqualified investors.

Nine other defendants already have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.

Hawkins, 57, of Kansas City, Kan., has no formal legal training but has been defending himself throughout the trial. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes scolded Hawkins for filing a list of 32 new witnesses earlier this week and taking other actions that have bogged down the trial.

"You've done things that delay or hold up this court," Wimes said before jurors were brought into the courtroom. "I don't need to know, and the jury doesn't need to know, what high school (witnesses) went to.

"I'm not going to revisit this," the judge said. "I've talked to you the last two weeks about this. We're moving forward."

Despite Wimes' warning, progress was slow Thursday morning as prosecutors and defense attorneys voiced at least 20 objections to Hawkins' questions in the first hour. Wimes sustained most of them.

Attorneys for co-defendants Teresa Brown, Johnny Heurung, William Miller and Martin Roper are trying to convince jurors that their clients did not intend to defraud anyone when they sold Petro stock. All four have pointed to Hawkins as the primary source of information regarding the company, which he founded in Kansas and later moved to a "virtual office" in a high-rise near Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 +1.24 0.06%
NASDAQ 5,127.5250 +11.3820 0.22%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs