Company, Former Executive Settle Fraud Charges: A federal judge in Los Angeles ordered Western Energy Acquisitions Inc. of Mission Viejo and its former president to pay a civil penalty of $4.1 million and to return another $4.1 million to mostly elderly investors reportedly defrauded in an oil and gas investment scheme, the Securities and Exchange Commission said. According to the SEC, the company and its president, Jeffrey Casperson, raised about $44.7 million from more than 1,000 investors by selling securities of oil and gas limited partnerships and trusts from 1989 to 1994. Some of the partnerships and trusts did not own the wells that investors were told they did, the SEC said. The SEC said Casperson and the company had previously consented, without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, to a permanent injunction against future violations of securities laws. Eight other defendants previously settled the charges against them by agreeing to return illegal profits and pay civil penalties but without admitting or denying guilt.