Energy Company Wants to Know who Talked
DALLAS (CN) - A Texas energy company wants to depose a private investigator to find out who hired her to drum up info about its CEO's criminal history.
Fusion Energy filed a petition for pre-suit deposition in Dallas County Court. It wants to depose the corporate representative of Emily Owens Investigations (EOI), based in the Dallas suburb of Forney.
"Fusion is an independent oil and natural gas company," the petition states. "Fusion seeks to obtain the deposition testimony of EOI to investigate a potential lawsuit by Fusion. The subject matter of the anticipated lawsuit is to recover damages from an individual (or individuals) who accessed and used confidential information of Fusion to disseminate information about the criminal records of Fusion's president and CEO, Scott Court, and several other Fusion employees, and is for the singular purpose of defaming and disparaging Fusion.
"Fusion has learned that someone with the username 'eowens11' obtained Mr. Court's and other Fusion employee's criminal records from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Fusion has also learned that the username 'eowen11' is registered to EOI. EOI has either disseminated those records to certain investors of Fusion, whose identities are confidential, or provided such information to others for the purpose of disseminating such information to Fusion's investors. The dissemination of this information was patently abusive, defamatory, and clearly meant to harass Fusion.
"Because EOI obtained this information without the consent of Mr. Court or other Fusion employees, Fusion seeks to learn the identity of EOI's client who contracted with EOI to obtain Fusion employees' criminal records and Fusion's investor lists. The actual identity of EOI's client, whose interests are adverse to Fusion's interests cannot be ascertained without discovery." (Parentheses in complaint.)
Courthouse News asked Owens about what's on Court's criminal record, and who her client was.
She replied: "I don't think that I can disclose that because I'm a private investigator and anything that I do is confidential, so I can't just yap about that. It's like with an attorney; once someone retains me we have a level of confidentiality."
A call to Fusion Energy's attorney was not returned. Fusion Energy's office was closed Friday afternoon when Courthouse News called for comment.
The Alabama Securities Commission in August 2010 issued a cease and desist order against Fusion Energy, William Scott Court, Red Ruby #2 Joint Venture and Fusion employee Pat Hughes.
The 5-page order states that Hughes called an Alabama resident to solicit an investment in Ruby Red 2.
"The Alabama resident requested information from Hughes regarding Ruby Red 2," the order states.
The next day the resident got a FedEx package that included a private placement memo, a joint venture agreement for Red Ruby #2 Joint Venture, a geological review and tax statements to fill out, according to the order.
"The PPM [private placement memo] identified Red Ruby 2 as a Texas Joint Venture offering 14 units of joint venture interest at $92,000 per unit, excluding up to $50,000 per unit in Completion Assessments. The PPM states 'the venture will be formed under Texas partnership law to participate in the acquisition, drilling, testing, and if appropriate, completion of one (1) oil well located in Dawson County, Texas.' The PPM identified Fusion Energy as the Managing Venturer of the joint venture," the order states.
Hughes followed up with a phone call to the Alabaman a few days later and the resident said he had not had time to review the offering documents, the order states.
"On July 27, 2010, a search of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, EDGAR Database, did not disclose a Form D filing by Fusion Energy for Red Ruby 2," the order states. "On July 27, 2010, a review of the Commission's registration files disclosed no record of registration for the respondents as a dealer or agent for securities in the State of Alabama."
The order states it is illegal to sell unregistered securities in Alabama and commanded Fusion Energy, Court and Hughes to stop soliciting investors for Red Ruby 2 in Alabama.
Though the document states, "This order does not prevent the Commission from seeking such other civil or criminal remedies that may be available to it under the Alabama Securities Act," it does not say anything about criminal charges against Court.