Two Men Arrested Over a $15 Million Oil and Gas Ponzi Scheme

Posted on August 18th, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Two Men Arrested Over a $15 Million Oil and Gas Ponzi Scheme

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

The U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia has arrested Richard Paul Underwood of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Colin P. Purcell of Simpsonville, Kentucky in connection with their operation of an oil and gas investment Ponzi scheme.  In addition, the SEC also filed a civil suit against Mr. Underwood and Mr. Purcell.

According to the indictment, Mr. Underwood and Mr. Purcell operated TexStar Energy Corp., Southern Energy Group Inc., and TennStar Energy Inc. Mr. Underwood and Mr. Purcell raised approximately $15 million from investors by falsely claiming that they would make impressive profits from their oil and gas projects.  More specifically, between 2012 and 2016, Mr. Underwood and Mr. Purcell sent out written materials and made phone calls to investors repeatedly promising investment returns of 15% to 55% per year. However, the promised returns were misrepresented. Mr. Underwood and Mr. Purcell used two-thirds of investor money to benefit themselves and to advertise to new investors.

Mr. Underwood and Mr. Purcell were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The attorneys of Eccleston Law LLC represent investors and advisors nationwide in securities and employment matters. The securities lawyers at Eccleston Law also practice a variety of other areas of practice for financial advisors including Broker Litigation & ArbitrationStrategic Consulting ServicesRegulatory  MattersTransition Contract Review, and much more. Our attorneys draw on a combined experience of nearly 65 years in delivering the highest quality legal services. If you are in need of legal services, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation today.

Related Attorneys: James J. Eccleston

Tags: Eccleston, Eccleston Law, James Eccleston, Eccleston Law LLC

Return to Archive



As a financial advisor with over 20 years of experience, I feel fortunate to call Jim my attorney and friend. He is a fantastic lawyer and trusted advisor. He is skilled in the matters necessary to do the job well. He uses his thoughtful approach and calm demeanor to achieve a positive outcome for the client. If you want to feel confident that nothing will be missed and that you will be represented in a highly professional manner, call Jim Eccleston.

Bill C. and Dan M.


January 25, 2022
Top FINRA Initiatives For 2022

A host of new initiatives are ahead in 2022 at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), according to CEO Robert Cook.

January 24, 2022
FINRA Set To Issue Crypto Notice And Consider Expungement Reform

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is set to issue a regulatory notice pertaining to cryptocurrency as well as expungement reform.

January 21, 2022
CFP Board Establishes New Appeals Commission

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards has established a new Appeals Commission. As the name suggests, the Appeals Commission possesses the sole authority to adjudicate appeal hearings.