Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Carlsbad man claimed his mines were worth $30 billion

But they weren't worth anything, says SEC

Long before Mark Twain defined a gold mine as a hole in the ground with a liar on the top, slippery salesmen have tried to peddle highly inflated mining claims to naive investors.

On Friday (July 28), the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a doozy of a case in federal court. Defendants are long-time Carlsbad pitchman Robert W. Wilson and two Wyoming companies he owns. Wilson said he was going to resuscitate a mining project in Yuma that could produce graphite. He initially said the claim was worth $18 billion, then escalated the value to $30 billion.

Investors would get a 20 percent profit in 18 months, said Wilson. But in truth, Wilson's companies had "no significant assets" other than an option to purchase the claims on federal land, says the securities commission. Wilson estimated the size of a deposit by taking readings from his car's odometer as he drove around the land, and then made an estimate based on the price of the material. Wilson "has no education or training in mine valuation techniques, "says the securities agency.

In 2015 he told investors that the graphite deposit "may be upwards of 4 billion tons!" and the material was then selling for $2,500 per ton. He brought in $2 million in the graphite project, and used the money on a massage spa, residential rent, restaurants and payments to participants in previous investment offerings. Thus, he was also running a Ponzi scheme. He brought in $2 million on the Yuma project.

In 2015, he claimed that a gold project he was peddling was worth $375 billion. In 2011, he was slapped with a desist and refrain order from the State of California barring him from making any oral or written untrue statements in a securities offering.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Shawn Mitchell: moved by a Youth for Christ group singing at the Civic Theater

“That night I made a decision to follow Jesus”
Next Article

What a teachers union has done to Gompers

29 teachers laid off in June, re-hired in July

Long before Mark Twain defined a gold mine as a hole in the ground with a liar on the top, slippery salesmen have tried to peddle highly inflated mining claims to naive investors.

On Friday (July 28), the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a doozy of a case in federal court. Defendants are long-time Carlsbad pitchman Robert W. Wilson and two Wyoming companies he owns. Wilson said he was going to resuscitate a mining project in Yuma that could produce graphite. He initially said the claim was worth $18 billion, then escalated the value to $30 billion.

Investors would get a 20 percent profit in 18 months, said Wilson. But in truth, Wilson's companies had "no significant assets" other than an option to purchase the claims on federal land, says the securities commission. Wilson estimated the size of a deposit by taking readings from his car's odometer as he drove around the land, and then made an estimate based on the price of the material. Wilson "has no education or training in mine valuation techniques, "says the securities agency.

In 2015 he told investors that the graphite deposit "may be upwards of 4 billion tons!" and the material was then selling for $2,500 per ton. He brought in $2 million in the graphite project, and used the money on a massage spa, residential rent, restaurants and payments to participants in previous investment offerings. Thus, he was also running a Ponzi scheme. He brought in $2 million on the Yuma project.

In 2015, he claimed that a gold project he was peddling was worth $375 billion. In 2011, he was slapped with a desist and refrain order from the State of California barring him from making any oral or written untrue statements in a securities offering.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Space Truckin’

Ace Frehley, Travis Barker, Tolan Shaw, Andy Robinson, Thousand Below
Next Article

What a teachers union has done to Gompers

29 teachers laid off in June, re-hired in July
Comments
2

Just wondering why are these cases filed civilly? Yes, I understand the SEC has limited authority, but these people are criminals perpetuating frauds usually involving millions. Whether it's the SEC or the State of California slapping these suspects with ridiculous cease and desist orders, do any ever ready stop? They should be going to prison not making false promises.

Aug. 1, 2017

JustWondering: I agree with you. If this isn't criminal fraud -- not just civil fraud -- what is? Again, one problem is that politicians, who gobble up money from Wall Street, make sure that the civil agencies such as the SEC and criminal prosecutors don't have enough money to pursue many white collar cases.

Therefore, crime pays most of the time, so the government is not a deterrent. That's exactly how Wall Street wants it.

Another problem is that big companies and Wall Street firms have more money to defend such cases than the government has to prosecute them. The defense will flood the government with demands for documents, etc. which makes prosecution very difficult.

In the case of the SEC, FCC, DOH, state regulatory agencies and the like, the lawyers are just there long enough to get a plush job with a Wall Street white shoe law firm. So they really don't pursue the cases vigorously. It's called the revolving door. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 1, 2017

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close