Court Enters Final Judgments Against Paul Downey and Two Others

Downey - Oil and Gas FraudOn September 29, the Honorable Sam R. Cummings of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas entered final judgments against Defendants Paul Downey, Jeffry Downey, and John Leonard. The judgments followed summary-judgment rulings in the SEC’s favor in July 2016, in which the court found that the Downeys raised $4.9 million from investors in a fraudulent oil-and-gas investment program and Leonard made $405,698 in commissions while serving as an unregistered broker.

Judge Cummings found the Downeys’ misconduct to be “extremely egregious,” describing it as “knowingly deceiving investors about virtually every aspect of the investment.” The court ordered them to disgorge $4.9 million plus $1.1 million in interest and to pay a civil penalty of $178,156 apiece. The court barred them from serving as officers or directors of any SEC-reporting company and enjoined them from violating antifraud laws, specifically Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The court also enjoined the Downeys from soliciting or participating in securities transactions in the future, allowing them to purchase and sell securities only for their own accounts.

Judge Cummings found that Leonard’s conduct “was extremely egregious, recurrent, and carried out with high scienter” and that it “involved deliberate or reckless disregard of a regulatory requirement.” The court ordered Leonard to disgorge $405,698 in commissions plus $89,063 in interest, and to pay a civil penalty of $178,156. It also enjoined Leonard from violating the broker-registration provisions of the federal securities laws, specifically Section 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

For further information about this securities law blog post, please contact Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney at 101 Plaza Real S, Suite 202 N, Boca Raton, Florida, (561) 416-8956, by email at [email protected] or visit   This securities law blog post is provided as a general informational service to clients and friends of Hamilton & Associates Law Group and should not be construed as, and does not constitute, legal and compliance advice on any specific matter, nor does this message create an attorney-client relationship. Please note that the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.

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