Brothers Must Pay Millions in Oil Scheme

A federal judge has ordered three Mission Viejo brothers to pay $4.1 million in penalties for cajoling elderly investors to speculate in nonexistent gas and oil field properties.

U.S. District Judge Edward Rafeedie also ordered the defendants to return another $4.1 million to the victims.

The brothers--Jeffrey L., Jerome and Joseph Casperson--were among a group of seven people and five companies charged last year with selling fraudulent oil and gas investments, the Securities and Exchange Commission said.

Jeffrey Casperson headed a group of three Orange County companies, including now-defunct Western Energy Acquisitions Inc. of Newport Beach, that used lists from retirement communities to fraudulently raise $44.7 million from 1989 to 1994, said SEC attorney Karen L. Matteson.


Investors lost an estimated $31 million, she said.

The SEC has recovered several million dollars of the lost investments, according to Matteson.

Eight defendants previously settled the case by agreeing to return illegal profits and pay civil penalties, without admitting or denying guilt, the SEC said.

The SEC said Jeffrey Casperson and WEA previously consented, without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, to a permanent injunction against future violations of securities laws.