This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
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

Attorneys Make Closings In Petro America Trial

By BILL DRAPER

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) â¿¿ Despite the best efforts by federal prosecutors to portray the company he founded in 2007 as worthless, Isreal Owen Hawkins told jurors Tuesday that Petro America Corp. is real, has real assets, and is in trouble only because big government decided to destroy it.

Hawkins, 57, and four co-defendants are charged in federal court in Kansas City with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and assorted other counts involving Petro America, which company leaders touted as having $284 billion in assets â¿¿ second in the U.S. only to Exxon â¿¿ despite being in existence less than three years.

Hawkins, who represented himself in the more than three-week trial, showed jurors several large binders during closing arguments Tuesday, telling them they contained contracts for billions of dollars in mining and oil operations.

"The government is trying to convince you that this company isn't real," he said. "They're railroading people. They're railroading shareholders."

Of the five defendants on trial, Hawkins was the only one who claimed the case against Petro America was part of a "big government" conspiracy. Attorneys for the other four â¿¿ Theresa Brown, Johnny Heurung, William Miller and Martin Roper â¿¿ claimed their clients were true believers in the company who acted on good faith, and that any misrepresentations to shareholders were because that's what Hawkins had told them.

In her closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Mahoney questioned whether Hawkins was "delusional or really that stupid" to believe he could build what would be the nation's second-largest corporation with no financial investment of his own in such a short period of time.

"You don't have to be around him very long to realize he is utterly incompetent," Mahoney said. "He doesn't follow through, he just makes excuses. He thinks this is how business is done."

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
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 17,730.11 -27.80 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,076.78 -0.64 -0.03%
NASDAQ 5,009.2140 -3.9090 -0.08%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs