Update on Securities Fraud Investigation involving Bellatorum Resources
According to a press release on August 16, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged an individual in Tomball, Texas and his company, Bellatorum Resources, LLC, for allegedly defrauding investors of more than $30 million through three private funds: Bellatorum Land & Minerals, LP; Bellatorum Phalanx Investments, LP; and Sentinel Energy Investments, LP.
This story first came to light in April 2021 when according to an article in Reuters, the founder of Bellatorum Resources closed its doors on April 9, 2021 and contacted U.S. prosecutors including the FBI and the Department of Justice. See: Securities Fraud Investigation: Bellatorum Resources
The SEC alleged in its complaint this week that the individual raised $31.5 million from investors to purchase and sell mineral rights through the funds, but purportedly helped himself to money from the funds while allegedly concealing their poor results.
Between February 2019 and April 2021, the individual’s alleged scheme included purchasing inflated mineral rights from an affiliated entity that he secretly controlled; purportedly purchasing mineral rights from third parties at inflated prices and then kept the extra proceeds for himself and Bellatorum; allegedly manipulated sales transactions to generate fake profits and trigger distributions to Bellatorum; and reportedly altered documents to deceive two of the funds’ auditors.
The individual was reportedly able to hide the alleged scheme by secretly pledging most of the funds’ mineral rights as collateral for an “improper” loan, according to the SEC. When Bentley allegedly failed to repay the loan, the lender took most of the funds’ investments, which reportedly caused huge losses for the funds and their investors.
To resolve the SEC’s charges, Bellatorum and its owner agreed to the entry of a judgment that permanently enjoins them from future violations of these provisions of the federal securities laws, bars the individual from serving as an officer or director of a public company, and orders them to pay disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties in amounts that will be determined by the court upon future motion of the SEC. Both partial settlements are subject to court approval.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas filed related criminal charges.
Investigating Potential Securities Claims
Broker dealers are required to perform adequate due diligence on all investment recommendations. They must ensure that each investment recommendation that is made is suitable for the investor in light of the investor’s age, risk tolerance, net worth, financial needs, and investment experience.
To determine whether you may be able to recover investment losses incurred as a result of your purchase of Bellatorum Land & Minerals LP or another Bellatorum Resources offering, please contact The White Law Group at 1-888-637-5510 for a free consultation.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Seattle, Washington. The firm represents investors throughout the country in claims against their brokerage firm.
For more information on the firm and its representation of investors, visit www.WhiteSecuritiesLaw.com.
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