CALGARY — Former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington and an associate have been ordered to pay more than $5 million to settle a securities fraud case in Arizona.The settlement with the Arizona Corporation Commission ends a year-long investigation into Pocklington, co-accused John McNeil and their affiliated companies — Crystal Pistol Resources LLC, Crystal Pistol Management LLC and Liberty Bell Resources I LLC.There was to be a hearing this month, but two sides came to a settlement, which was approved by the commission last week, spokeswoman Rebecca Wilder said Monday.The commission said Pocklington and McNeil told at least 120 investors they had mineral rights to a mine near Quartzite, Ariz., that would begin churning out gold shortly.The company attracted some investors through unsolicited phone calls. Some were invited to the mine site. Company newsletters touted it as “one of the most lucrative dividends in the mining business” and claimed hedge funds and banks were interested in the project, the commission said.“The commission found, however, that the estimates of gold resources on the respondents’ website were not supportable with the methods currently available in the industry,” it said.“In settling this matter, the respondents neither admitted nor denied the commission’s findings, but agreed to the entry of the consent order.”The commission has ordered Pocklington and McNeil pay $5,149,316 in restitution, plus a $100,000 administrative fee.A release from Pocklington’s company, Liberty Bell Resources, says “the allegations of wrongdoing… have been laid to rest” with the commission’s decision.“We have done nothing wrong,” Pocklington said in the release. “We have worked diligently and honestly with all of our investors and have been conscientious in guiding the company through the necessary regulatory frameworks. We are committed to raising capital in accordance with existing rules and regulations.”He added that any errors were “born of inexperience and naivete, not malice or avarice,” and were quickly rectified.“Nowhere in this whole situation did anybody lose any money,” said Pocklington spokesman Terry McConnell, adding agreeing to pay the fine is less costly than continuing to fight the allegations.In 2010, Pocklington received a conditional sentence after pleading guilty to perjury in California for making false statements and oaths in his bankruptcy case.
The price of oil climbed to near US$104 a barrel Tuesday as the imminent start of the third-quarter U.S. corporate reporting season provided investors with something to focus on other just the budget stalemate in Washington.By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery was up 84 cents at $103.87 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 81 cents to close at US$103.03 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.Oil prices have fallen in the last week after the U.S. government was forced to partially halt operations. The shutdown occurred because Congress could not agree on short-term funding that would have allowed the country to pay its bills past Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. Some 800,000 federal workers were furloughed, although some were called back to their jobs, and many non-essential agencies and services were shuttered.A deadline is also approaching for raising the nation’s borrowing limit. If Congress doesn’t raise the limit by Oct. 17, the country could face its first-ever debt default, which experts warn could seriously harm the global economy.Oil traders have gotten jittery in recent days as the deadline approaches, and crude prices have fallen.Over the coming days, investors will be monitoring earnings statements from leading U.S. companies.As is usual, aluminum giant Alcoa kicks off the quarterly earnings season later after Wall Street closes. While Alcoa is no longer listed on the Dow, it is considered a bellwether for commodities. Its results will be watched for signs about global manufacturers’ demand for the lightweight metal in a stubbornly slow-growing economy.New information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products are also on the agenda.Data for the week ended Oct. 4 is expected to show builds of 2.2 million barrels in crude oil stocks and 1.3 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.The American Petroleum Institute will release its report on oil stocks later Tuesday, while the report from the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration — the market benchmark — will be out on Wednesday.Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, was up 75 cents to US$109.43 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.In other energy futures trading on Nymex, wholesale gasoline rose 2.76 cents to US$2.6537 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil added 2.53 cents to US$3.0346 a gallon and natural gas rose 2.9 cents to US$3.658 per 1,000 cubic feet.(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS.UN), (TSX:CVE) by Pablo Gorondi, The Associated Press Posted Oct 8, 2013 7:02 am MDT Oil rises to near US$104 as Q3 corporate earnings season gets under way AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email