LOS ANGELES — A pair of Mission Viejo men have been held in contempt in federal court for failing to comply with an order to repay more than $10 million they collected from elderly investors in what investigators called a gas and oil field scam.
U.S. District Judge Edward Rafeedie scheduled a March 4 hearing for brothers Jeffrey and Jerome Casperson, who had signed a civil consent order after having been accused of selling fraudulent investments in nonexistent gas and oil fields. In signing the order, they did not admit wrongdoing.
Rafeedie said he would order the brothers imprisoned on March 4 if they have not paid the money to the SEC.
Jeffrey Casperson headed a group of three Orange County companies that used lists from retirement communities to solicit investments, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies, including now-defunct Western Energy Acquisitions Inc. of Newport Beach, raised $44.7 million from 1989 to 1994, SEC attorneys said. The civil charges were filed late in 1994.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the SEC said the Caspersons have failed to comply with a final judgment that ordered Jeffrey Casperson to pay $4.1 million and Jerome Casperson to pay $6.3 million from the proceeds of the investment scheme.
Investors lost an estimated $31 million, according to court filings.