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Colo. targets oil and gas investment firm

DENVER, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Colorado officials are targeting an oil and gas investment company in a $300 million alleged fraud, records indicate.

State officials say HEI Resources Inc. and other companies associated with Joe Kinlaw and Charles Reed Cagle raised more than $300 million from investors in a 12-year period by using high-pressure tactics and misrepresentation to push illegal securities, The Denver Post reported Sunday.

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State officials allege HEI sales agents operated in "boiler rooms" in Colorado Springs, Englewood and Greenwood Village, Colo., telling prospective clients about previous successes and promising returns on investment of 200 percent or more, the newspaper said.

HEI denies the claim and has countersued the state.

"Everybody knows oil and gas is a risky investment," Bill Mateja, an attorney representing HEI owner Gulf Coast Western told the Post. "Why would these companies go to all this expense to intentionally drill dry wells?"

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