Take care with Richard Gibson, Energex Global and Texan oil wells

New Zealand lawyers are warned to be careful with phone calls from Australia and (supposedly) Texas in the United States. The callers appear to be targeting lawyers with an offer of oil partnership investment opportunities. Information available on the internet indicates that the company does exist, but there may have been problems in the past with interpretation of facts about oil and gas limited partnerships presented to potential investors.

Reports from New Zealand lawyers show the following features of approaches:

  • Initial contact from Australia by a female caller with limited English. If rebuffed, a further call is made by an Australian male who talks fast and fluently.
  • A followup call is made by an American male called Richard Gibson, supposedly calling from Dallas, Texas. He advises that the initial calls were from the company’s marketing call centre, and then proceeds to talk and provide lots of facts and figures about the partnership investment opportunities.
  • If advised by the lawyer receiving the call that they don’t qualify as an exempt investor under the Securities Act, the Australian male hangs up, but the American says that is not a problem as the company can put up proxies who qualify as an exempt investor. A query whether the proxies are domiciled in New Zealand resulted in Richard Gibson abruptly hanging the phone up.

Further information relating to the legitimacy or otherwise of this are welcomed.