Bradley Sherman Haycraft, 48, was indicted by a grand jury in Collin County. He was charged with illegally selling investments in the Petrified Forest Prospect, a helium well project in the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. He was recently arrested on the charges.
The Securities Commissioner previously filed administrative actions to stop Haycraft from perpetrating illegal investment schemes. Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles filed the most recent administrative case against Haycraft in November 2019. It accused Haycraft of soliciting units in the Petrified Forest Prospect through a radio show broadcast from Dallas – even though the issuer had already sold the same units as early as 2018, had not commenced drilling and had yet to even apply for a permit to drill.
“Scammers have been using radio shows as tools to broadly reach and recruit victims,” said TSSB Enforcement Director Joe Rotunda. “The pundits may appear to be entertaining hosts providing educational information - but they may actually be bad actors peddling fraudulent investment schemes.” He also encouraged Texans to thoroughly investigate the credentials of promoters as part of their due diligence.
The recent indictments, handed up in June, charge Haycraft with violating the agency’s order, as well as violating state securities registration laws. The charges are third degree felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Haycraft is also a recidivist. He was previously prosecuted for misdemeanor drug offenses, later convicted of felony robbery, and thereafter sentenced to serve probation. He was also recently prosecuted for felony possession of methamphetamine and ordered to serve a term of community supervision.
Haycraft was on probation at the time of the conduct charged in the indictment and his probation is not scheduled for termination until July 2022.
“While the responsibility to provide investors with all necessary information to enable them to make fully informed investment decisions falls squarely on the investment promoter, investors need to conduct thorough due diligence – not only considering the merits of a particular investment, but also the qualifications of the person selling the investment,” said Commissioner Iles. He also encouraged Texans to independently verify the background and experience of promoters and to contact the Texas State Securities Board to explore any red flags associated with an investment ‘opportunity.’
The criminal case is being prosecuted by the Collin County District Attorney’s Office. Matthew Leslie and Kelsey Heaton from the TSSB Enforcement Division have been appointed as special prosecutors.
Contact – Joe Rotunda, Enforcement Director, Texas State Securities Board, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-305-8392 for additional information.