By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 8 -- The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Apr. 3 filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Houston seeking to halt what the SEC called a fraudulent stock manipulation scheme involving Rocky Mountain Energy Corp., Houston.
Federal Judge Sim Lake issued a temporary restraining order and an asset freeze against the company, John N. Ehrman, its former CEO and president, and W. Roderick Johnson, Rocky Mountain Energy general counsel.
The lawsuit also named John W. Ehrman Jr., John N. Ehrman's father, "as a relief defendant to recover proceeds from the alleged fraud in his possession or control."
On Apr. 2, Rocky Mountain Energy announced that Michel F. Clerin replaced John N. Ehrman as president and CEO effective immediately. No reason was given for the change in management.
The federal lawsuit alleged that, starting in July 2002, Ehrman and Johnson used "four bogus share-exchange transactions to secretly obtain control" of 50% of Rocky Mountain's issued and outstanding stock. The company was formed in late May 2002.
In 1991, a federal court permanently enjoined Ehrman from violating the registration and antifraud provisions of US securities laws. That case involved Transwestern Oil & Gas Inc., the SEC's latest lawsuit said.