Nov 13 2008
Contact: Laura Egerdal; Ryan Hobart, (573) 526-0949; (573) 526-4734

Carnahan Shuts Down Missouri Oil Firm Scheme

According to the order, Petro America’s President, Owen Hawkins, and sales agent Martin Roper offered investments in increments of $100 to hundreds of investors in several states, including over 300 investors in Missouri. Investors were told that a $100 investment would purchase 100,000 shares of stock in Petro America that would eventually have a value of $200,000.

The Missouri Securities Division has alleged that Petro America marketed their investment opportunity primarily to African-American investors through various churches, and were offering the opportunity to “share the blessing” by investing in Petro America. Investors were told that God had opened up opportunities for the company. The order also alleges that Petro America failed to provide actual facts and necessary information concerning the investment.

“In these tough economic times, investors should be careful of deals that sound too good to be true. I will continue to identify and stop any company or individual that attempts to defraud Missourians out of their hard-earned savings,” Carnahan said. “Now it’s more important than ever before to research any investment as well as the person making the offer.”

An investigation by the Missouri Securities Division revealed that Petro America, Hawkins and Roper are not registered to offer investments in Missouri and are not exempt from registration. The investments that they offered and sold also were not registered. Petro America, Hawkins and Roper have thirty days to respond to the order and request a hearing.

For more information regarding investments and fraud protection, visit the Secretary of State's online Missouri Investor Protection Center at or call the toll free Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996.

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To find out more about Missouri’s Secretary of State’s office, visit