TYLER, Texas (CN) – An Arizona man bilked thousands of investors of $5.2 million by selling “trust certificates” they could trade for “common shares” of a publicly traded company that had a “projected value of $13.5 billion,” the SEC says in Federal Court. But Paul Poetter’s claims were “bogus” and he swiped at least $300,000 outright, the agency says.
The SEC says Poetter, 56, of Gilbert, Ariz., raised $5.2 million from more than 2,500 investors since June 2007 by claiming, among other things, that he had contracts to process more than $120 million worth of African cocoa.
The agency also sued Poetter’s businesses: 4309 Inc., 4309 Acquisition Trust, AMS-TEC Acquisition Trust, AMS-TEC Commodities, AMS-TEC Energy, Greener Cleaner Fams, and Robocargo Corp.
The only assets Poetter appears to have acquired were a small trucking company and a hay farm, neither of which produced income, the SEC says.