Petro America chief seeks new trial in fraud case

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(KANSAS CITY, Mo., AP) — The lead defendant in a federal securities fraud case in Kansas City is asking for a new trial because of juror misconduct.
Isreal Owen Hawkins filed a motion last week claiming that one of the jurors in his 17-day trial failed to disclose during jury selection that she had performed alterations on several of his suits.
Hawkins was convicted May 15 of conspiracy, securities fraud, aggravated currency structuring, money laundering and two counts of wire fraud related to his company, Petro America Corp. Prosecutors said Hawkins and several others defrauded investors out of more than $10 million by illegally selling them stock in a company that had no assets, despite claiming to be worth $284 billion.
Four others were convicted of conspiracy and other charges in the same trial.