Fraud alleged in frack scheme
The Colorado Division of Securities on Thursday issued a cease and desist order against a Texas firm and its owner concerning alleged fraud which reportedly victimized several Grand Junction-area investors.
Weldon Walker, who authorities say had a last known address in Durango, and his former company, Texas-based Premier Water Solutions, had reportedly approached a group of local investors in 2009 with claims that the firm had invented new technology to dispose of water produced during natural gas extraction in an environmentally friendly manner, the agency said in a release.
Walker reportedly claimed investors’ money would fund the purchase of property in New Mexico, where the technology would be manufactured.
Investors were provided regular reports from Walker through 2012, but one investor in 2013 received a tip that the New Mexico property at issue appeared to be abandoned. State authorities allege Walker put some money toward the property, but eventually started missing payments. The property was repossessed.
Walked allegedly confessed to one investor the money had gone toward his personal living expenses.
The cease and desist order signed Thursday tells Walker to stop any sale of unregistered securities in Colorado, while prohibiting any other activity that violates state securities law.
The state’s release noted difficulty for the Division of Securities to recoup investor losses.
“An investment opportunity that takes advantage of the high profile nature of an issue such as fracking should be treated with extreme caution,” state securities commissioner Gerald Rome said.
Jill Sarmo, spokeswoman for the Department of Regulatory Agencies, which oversees the Division of Securities, said she wasn’t aware of any state or federal criminal investigation.