Investigation Targets Oil and Gas Investments Firm : Sevitski & Associates: The state Department of Corporations has subpoenaed books and records of the Westlake Village company.
The California Department of Corporations is investigating Sevitski & Associates, a Westlake Village concern that sells oil and gas investments.
“We are very actively working on it,” said Bill McDonald, assistant commissioner of the department, which has jurisdiction over state securities laws.
The Department of Corporations is trying to determine whether Sevitski & Associates and Joseph Sevitski, owner and president of the firm, engaged in fraud and misrepresentation and sold oil and gas investments without obtaining necessary state permits, McDonald said.
Sevitski confirmed that a state investigation is under way.
“I’m completely cooperating with the state and have been all along,” he said. “I expect this to be over relatively shortly. There’s no animosity on my part whatsoever.”
He added: “I do want to say that myself and my organization are working totally for the benefit of the client relationship.” Sevitski said he had been instructed by his attorney not to comment further.
McDonald said the Department of Corporations has been contacted by large numbers of investors who bought investment contracts or oil and gas leasehold interests from Sevitski.
But some of the investors contacted the department “not to complain about him,” McDonald said of Sevitski, “but to complain about us.” Those investors “still believe in Mr. Sevitski,” McDonald added.
Among other questions under investigation are whether Sevitski sold securities without appropriate permission. Sevitski & Associates did not have a state permit to sell the oil and gas investments, McDonald said. Under state law, such a permit is necessary if securities are sold to more than 35 individuals.
The Department of Corporations issued a subpoena for the books and records of Sevitski & Associates on Aug. 28, 1990, said Alan Weinger, supervising counsel of the Department of Corporations’ enforcement division. Investigators have examined records at the firm’s offices in Westlake Village, McDonald said.
McDonald said that despite the investigation, the Department of Corporations has not issued any orders or injunctions against Sevitski. “He’s at liberty to do whatever he wants,” McDonald said.