A headline posted Thursday night on the Grand Forks Herald's website, SEC orders former Minnesota oil exec to pay $8 million in North Dakota oil terminal stock manipulation scheme, prompted Bluestem to click on the link.
Could the article be about former Northern Gas and Oil executive Michael Reger, whose giving to Minnesota Republicans and its allies (the Minnesota Jobs Coalition and the Republican State Leadership Committee) we chronicled on our March 2015 post Merchants of Daudt I: flipping the MN house on the rising plume of North Dakota oil money?
Yeah, it's that guy.
A former oil company executive from Minnesota has been ordered to repay $6.5 million in "ill-gotten gains," plus a fine and accrued interest, in the wake of a stock manipulation scheme involving a North Dakota oil loading facility for which he and business associates reaped an estimated $32 million.
An Oct. 31 order from the federal Securities and Exchange Commission puts Michael L. Reger on the hook for nearly $8 million for his involvement with Dakota Plains Holdings, a Minnesota company that owns the oil terminal in New Town in northwest North Dakota.
Reger must repay investors a $6.5 million "disgorgement," a term for funds that were received through illegal or unethical business transactions. He was also ordered to pay $669,365 in interest, plus a $750,000 fine.
In a separate action, the SEC charged Reger's former business partner, Ryan Gilbertson, in the stock manipulation scheme, for allegedly orchestrating an elaborate scheme to siphon millions of dollars from Dakota Plains Holdings Inc. Two others have also been charged in the stock manipulation case.
For Reger, 40, the SEC's action represents a staggering blow to a once promising career. His family has been involved in the oil and gas business since the 1930s. In 2012 and 2013, Forbes named Reger one of "America's Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under." He received widespread recognition for the company's success as Bakken oil production soared.
Last August Reger was terminated as chief executive from Northern Oil and Gas Inc., a Wayzata, Minn., company which he co-founded in 2006. His firing came soon after Reger told company officials that he had received notice from the SEC that he was the target of an investigation for securities violations. . . .
SEC investigators concluded that Reger acted negligently in failing to disclose his ownership and control of Dakota Plains. Federal securities law prohibits a person to offer securities while attempting to mislead or commit fraud on the purchaser.
Meanwhile, investors of Northern Oil and Gas Inc. have filed a class-action lawsuit, naming the company, Reger and interim CEO Thomas Stoelk as defendants. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, accuses Reger and other company officials of unethical and illegal activities while managing the energy company. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, in addition to costs and attorney's fees.
Read the whole hot mess at the Grand Forks Herald.
We'd wondered where Reger, who contributed $71,250.00 to Minnesota Republican candidates and friendly commitees between 2006-2014 (MN CFB searchable database here), had washed up, as he disappeared from Republican campaign finance reports this cycle.
As we reported on March 8, 2015, in Merchants of Daudt I: flipping the MN house on the rising plume of North Dakota oil money:
Northern Oil & Gas and Michael Reger: dollars to defeat Democrata
NOG contributed $25,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee on January 6, 2014; the RSLC gave a total of $325,000 to the Minnesota Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund PAC in 2014 before the November election.
The company also gave $25,000 directly to the Minnesotan Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund PAC on August 15, 2014 (p. 6, year end report). That's at least $25,000 and perhaps as much $50,000 of good Bakken crude flowing into Minnesota politics for independent expenditures.
It's hard not to envision at least some of that oozing into the hands of the venders MJC chair (now House Majority executive director) Ben Golnik hired to craft $58,640 worth of attacks against DFL state representative Melissa Hortman in House District 36B (page 18, year end report).
After all, in the 2013-2014 session when the DFL held the majority in the Minnesota House, the Brooklyn Park Democrat chaired the Energy Policy Committee, helping to shepherd through clean energy policy.
Northern Oil and Gas Inc Chair and CEO Micheal Reger also gave big to the HRCC, the campaign committee for Minnesota House Republicans. Reger dropped $10,000 into the HRCC kitty on October 14, 2014, (p. 48 year end report) after giving the committee $25,000.00 on December 31, 2013 (p. 26 year-end report), or $35,000 for the cycle.
He was also generous in 2014 to individual Republican state representatives and challengers campaigns, as well as Republican Attorney General candidate Scott Newman (all information via the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board's searchable database):
02-05-2014 Gunderson, Heidi Ann House Dist. 42B Committee $1,000.00
02-05-2014 Uglem, Mark W House Dist. 36A Committee $1,000.00
02-07-2014 Johnson, Brian L House Dist. 32A Committee $1,000.00
02-08-2014 Kresha, Ronald House Dist. 9B Committee $1,000.00
02-11-2014 Nelson, Gary House Dist. 17A Committee $1,000.00
02-17-2014 Barrett, Robert (Bob) C House Dist. 32B Committee $1,000.00
02-19-2014 Todd-Harlin, Andrea House Dist. 51A Committee $1,000.00
06-17-2014 Fenton, Kelly A House Dist. 53B Committee $1,000.00
06-20-2014 Daudt, Kurt House Dist. 31A Committee $1,000.00
07-10-2014 Anselmo, Dario Arthur House Dist. 49A Committee $1,000.00
08-13-2014 Newman, Scott Atty. Gen. Committee $2,500.00
10-22-2014 Rutzick, Ryan L House Dist. 44B Committee $1,000.00
02-05-2014 Stensrud, Kirk D House Dist. 48A Committee $1,000.00
02-05-2014 Quam, Duane R House Dist. 25A Committee $1,000.00
02-07-2014 Peterson, Roz House Dist. 56B Committee $1,000.00
02-15-2014 Kiel, Debra (Deb) L House Dist. 1B Committee $1,000.00
02-18-2014 Bowles, Polly Peterson House Dist. 49A Committee $1,000.00
03-15-2014 Petersburg, John House Dist. 24A Committee $1,000.00
02-08-2014 Green, Steve House Dist. 2B Committee $1,000.00
That's $18,000 more total to Minnesota House Republican candidates. Add that to the $35,000 to the HRCC and the $25,000 to the MJC, Reger & Company gave $78,000 to help flip the chamber, and possibly $25,000 more via the RSLC.
Those checks that helped flip the Minnesota House in 2014 were drawn from some hard-working North Dakota oil money, if we're to believe those scallywags at the federal Security and Exchange Commission.
Image: Merchants of Daudt. Don't you just love the North Dakota energy industry? Reger seems nice. Seasoned political hands might remember the scramble to unload contributions from scamsters Tom Petters and co-conspirator Frank Vennes Jr.
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