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The Vigilant Investor by Pat HUDDLESTON

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2The Posse and the Prey

The Investment Cops and the Scam Artists They Pursue

Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.

—ALBERT EINSTEIN

In 1986, Roc “Rocky” G. Hatfield was the 29-year-old chief operating officer of Centuri Mining Corp. (Centuri). Operating from offices in Clearwater, Florida, he advertised Centuri stock for sale via ads in the Wall Street Journal. The ads did not warn investors that Centuri had not registered the stock for sale (as required under the federal securities laws). Hatfield told prospective investors that Centuri owned $225 million in gold deposits and mining operations on the Nechi River in Colombia. He sent a report from an “independent geologist” confirming the gold deposits. The report was fake.

The ...

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