SEC Brings Charges Related to Ohio-Based Petroleum Ponzi Scheme

Posted on July 7th, 2014 at 9:00 AM

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law Offices:

Several Ohio residents were charged by the SEC with defrauding nearly $21 million from approximately 50 people in a Ponzi scheme.

Thomas Abdallah and Kenneth Grant set up a fake company, KGTA Petroleum, which supposedly bought and sold oil and fuel. They told investors that they would use funds to buy fuel at a discount,and then sell it for a substantial profit, thenpromised investors 2 to 4 percent returns each month and no market risk. They also promised that the funds and returns would flow to an escrow account. In reality, the person in charge of the escrow account never followed escrow procedure.

From Oct.8 2012 to February 2014, KGTA raised $20.73 million from investors, and used some funds to pay fake “returns” to investors. Abdallah and Grant also used funds for personal expense.

Moreover, two registered brokers, Jeffrey Gainer and Jerry Cicolani, solicited investors and facilitated the Ponzi scheme. They sold KGTA notes on their own and kept the transaction secret from their employer.

The attorneys of Eccleston Law Offices represent investors and advisers nationwide in securities and employment matters. Our attorneys draw on a combined experience of nearly 50 years in delivering the highest quality legal services.

Related Attorneys: James J. Eccleston


Return to Archive



Jim, Stephany and the whole team were a God send.  We felt like we were put into a situation where we had no advocate. Jim’s team came in with a strong, well laid out strategy on how to get our story heard. Where our outside compliance company had no ability to help, our Broker Dealer was impenitent, and the regulators were aggressive pursuing vague rules, Jim came like a barricade against an assault we did not understand. Though you pay member dues to be affiliated with FINRA and a B/D, you have no voice. The only thing that is truly heard in this un-level playing field is a bulldog’s bark like Jim’s. I would encourage anyone to call Jim and his team to find a real ally in the tough and complicated world of securities regulation. They are truly the best.

Greg P.


June 30, 2022
FINRA Fines United Planners Over GPB Private Placement Sales

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has fined United Planners’ Financial Services of America over negligent sales of private placements issued by GPB Capital Holdings.

June 29, 2022
J.P. Morgan Advisors Ordered To Pay Former Partner $620,000

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel has ordered a J.P. Morgan team to pay their former partner at least $620,000 over the dissolution of a partnership.

June 28, 2022
JP Morgan Manager Reveals Issues Regarding ESG Loan Pitches

The market for sustainability-linked loans is still severely prone to “greenwashing”, or investing more time and effort into marketing itself as environmentally friendly rather than actually minimizing its environmental impact, according to one of J.P. Morgan’s managers who often helps to sort through debt that is pitched to the company.