Petro America Founder Sentenced to 30 Years
KANSAS CITY (AP) - A Kansas man whose Missouri-based company defrauded thousands of people out of more than $10 million has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Israel Owen Hawkins Jr., founder of Petro America Corp., was sentenced Tuesday for conspiracy, securities fraud, money laundering and other charges in a scheme that promised people big returns for investing as little as $100.
Prosecutors say Hawkins, of Kansas City, Kan., and others defrauded 12,000 victims of more than $10 million. Nine others had pleaded guilty to various crimes and four others were convicted at trial. The Kansas City Star reports Hawkins also was ordered to pay restitution of more than $10 million.
Three other people involved in the scheme were sentenced Tuesday, and others will be sentenced in the coming weeks.