Petrotech Resources Corporation is an oil and gas drilling program based in Glasgow, Kentucky. The company was founded in 2001 by owner John Walden Burness who has been named as the principal along with Jocquinna Wilkins Bailey, Brian Johnny Evans, Scott Peacock, Chad Pennington, Geologist Jack Wheat, CPA Shane Polson, Attorneys Jeff Herbert and Hunter Durham and others are named as aiding and abetting in the alleged securities and criminal fraud and criminal activity associated with the fraud.
The City of Edmonton in Kentucky, the Mayor, City Council and the City Attorney sitting at the time of an alleged, large scale “Bait and Switch” fraud scheme are also named as aiding and abetting Mr. Burness in allegedly defrauding investors from across the country.
To date, more than 40 Petrotech investors have submitted sworn affidavits to Colt Ledger, all telling the same story of cold calling, false investment promises, false production records, bait and switch projects, little to no monetary return, and flimsy excuses that fail to stand up under scrutiny. While this group of investors have allegedly lost several millions of dollars to John Burness, the total loses of all of the Petrotech investors is estimated to be, conservatively, in the 50 to 75 million dollar area. Not one single investor has come forward to say he/she has recouped their investment. In fact, the production records of projects involving clients appear to indicate that John Burness has never had a truly successful project despite documented claims of enormous success.
John did hit a big well $12 to $15 million, coincidently, there appears to have been only two investors. According to an interview with one of the “partners”
In another project there appears to be a classic “Bait and Switch” tactic, Mr. Burness utilized a contract to supply natural gas to the City of Edmonton, Kentucky, to lure potential investors into, what some have termed, “the perfect scam”; natural gas production with a guaranteed buyer that would increase the market share in the future with “insider” connections to protect the status of the contract.
Mr. Burness presented in an introductory letter written to potential investors, “We have recently signed an agreement with the City of Edmonton, Kentucky, to supply them with natural gas. There is a 20% share of this market available to us, which amounted to $1.7 million dollars last year. City officials have indicated to us that we would be the supplier of choice. We have the opportunity to capture additional market share the next heating season”.
During the subsequent investigation, Colt Ledger & Associates, obtained a copy of the origional contract and soon discovered that John Burness was absolutely, knowingly and willfully misrepresenting the entire project. The contract revealed that, first; it was really nothing more than a one year non-binding agreement with no obligation to purchase any quantity of gas! Second, there was no 20% of anything mentioned! There was no $1.7 million market share started! There was no mention of higher market shares being available! There was absolutely no indication of John Burness being the "producer of choice"! In fact, there was no obligation to even renew the contract! It appears that John Burness willfully, intentionally and, possibly, criminally lured investors into nothing more than a con articulated to defraud investors.
As soon as John Burness had the investors' money in the natural gas project with a guaranteed buyer; John Burness promptly switched them, under protest, to another project and drilled 5 dry holes.
Mr. Burness explained the move to the other project as, “We think that it’s in the best interest of the clients of the West Edmonton Development Program #2, and Petrotech Resources Corporation…
Please Note, two things, first the Don Wolf #3 did not have anything to do with the City of Edmonton deal, it was a diversion and the first step in a classic ‘bait and switch”, second, after all the fanfare, the Don Wolf #3, as reported to the State by John Burness,, never produced a single drop of oil and was plugged and abandoned 10 months after its completion. Everything appeared to be a lie intended to lure investors into fraudulent projects and wells by John Burness.
It has been estimated that less than 5% of the total income of these oil and gas drilling companies and their owners comes from actual oil and/or gas production. The majority estimates from 90% to 95% which comes directly from grossly over charging for the project and grossly under producing any measurable results.
The Kentucky Supreme Court declared in a recent decision favoring Colt Ledger that: “It appears from the record that…Colt Ledger & Associates seeks to recover investment for its clients using, to put it mildly, highly aggressive collection techniques.”