DALLAS -- A 39-year-old Dallas oil and gas industry executive who calls himself the "Frack Master" in media appearances has been accused of defrauding investors out of $80 million, according to a government lawsuit announced today.
Chris Faulkner, CEO of Breitling Energy Corporation (BECC) and past guest on CNBC, CNN International, Fox Business News, and the BBC to talk about oil and gas topics, is accused along with several other people and businesses with "disseminating false and misleading offering materials, misappropriating millions of dollars of investor funds and attempting to manipulate," his company's stock, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission civil lawsuit filed in Dallas federal court.
The SEC lawsuit alleges that Faulkner misappropriated at least $30 million of investor funds for personal expenses, including lavish meals and entertainment, international travel, cars, jewelry, gentlemen’s clubs, and personal escorts.
“Chris Faulkner allegedly orchestrated a sophisticated and multilayered scheme using BECC and its affiliated entities as a conduit to access millions of investor dollars,” said Shamoil Shipchandler, director of the SEC's Fort Worth office. “The financing for Faulkner’s opulent lifestyle came directly at the expense of unwitting investors across the country.”
Larry Friedman, Faulkner's attorney, said his client has done nothing wrong.
"Brietling has been a high profile, very successful company and I'm not aware of any complaints by investors," Friedman said Friday.
"I am aware that there have been criticisms by competitors," Friedman added. "This is a very competitive market. We have successfully fended off every complaint made by competitors. We're fully cooperating with the SEC. We're surprised that it's gotten to the point of a complaint."