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Thursday, July 11, 2024 | Back issues
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Mining Exec Claims Investor Tried Extortion

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A mining company director claims in court that an investor tried to extort him to recoup the $269,000 the man lost in the penny stock market.

Plaintiff Zirk De Maison is a director of the Lustros mining company and a former officer at Casablanca Mining. He asked a federal judge to enjoin Jerry Powers, of Ohio, from harassing and attempting to extort him.

De Maison claims Powers demanded $269,000 after he lost the money investing in Casablanca shares. Powers accused him of profiting from a pump-and-dump scheme in Casablanca shares, De Maison says in the lawsuit. He claims Powers threatened to report him to the SEC, the FBI and the FTC, unless he paid the money.

Powers told him: "I promise I will not stop until I see you and your group punished," De Maison claims in the lawsuit. "You think your divorce was messy, well this will be the messiest thing you have ever been in and I will be like a fly on shit until I see you and your nefarious cabal prosecuted to the fullest."

De Maison claims the two men tangled after Powers, a "sophisticated" and "high risk" investor, approached him after he had resigned from Casablanca and joined Lustros.

Powers told him he had lost big on the penny stock market and had suffered big losses in Casablanca, according to the complaint.

As a "gratuitous gesture," De Maison claims, he offered Powers 150,000 common shares in his new company after learning of Powers' losses.

Powers this month asked De Maison for a letter so he could use a broker to deposit his Lustros shares, the complaint states. De Maison claims he sent a settlement letter on Nov. 11.

In that letter, attached as an exhibit, De Maison wrote that Powers is offering to "settle, in full and final settlement, all disputes regarding any and all stock transactions with you, including shares of Casablanca Mining Ltd."

But rather than settle, Powers demanded that De Maison pay the $269,000 Powers had invested in Casablanca, according to the lawsuit.

In a Dec. 4 email, attached as an exhibit, Powers called De Maison a "thief, liar, and stock scammer" and demanded the money.

De Maison says his attorney sent Powers a letter warning him to stop harassing De Maison.

"Instead of standing down, the defendant continued to harass the plaintiff, and on Dec. 5, 2013, directed another set of writings to the plaintiff, with the intent to extort the $269,000 from plaintiff, threatening again to report plaintiff to the FBI for theft," the complaint states.

De Maison seeks an injunction and damages and punitive damages for "attempted extortion."

He is represented by Kenneth Eade.

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