FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Federal authorities are accusing a Madera, Calif.-based mining company and its CEO of defrauding hundreds of investors in a scam involving a fruitless gold mining venture.
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday charged Nekekim Corp. and Kenneth Carlton of Clovis with falsely luring investors to spend $16 million on the company's Nevada mine site.
Court documents filed in Fresno federal court say from 2001 to 2011, Nekekim drew in investors in the U.S. as well as Canada, Australia and Singapore. As Nekekim failed to produce mining revenue, records say Carlton gave shareholders false hopes that the company was perfecting a plan to extract gold deposits worth at least $1.7 billion.
The agency says Carlton and Nekekim neither admitted nor denied the SEC's allegations but agreed to a court order requiring Carlton to pay a $50,000 penalty.