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Local News

April 5, 2011

Indictments issued in fake power plant case

GREENVILLE — Two Rowlett residents have been indicted in connection with an alleged scheme to sell shares in a non-existent Hunt County power plant.

A grand jury in Collin County has returned felony theft by appropriation charges against Kenneth Paul Lawrence and Casey Ray Vanloon. The indictment against Vanloon was returned in January 2010, with the indictment against Lawrence issued last week.

“There’s a lot more to come on what we’re calling the Greenway Venture,” said Robert Elder with the Texas State Securities Board. “That’s the name we have for it right now.”

The state agency is alleging the pair bilked more than a dozen individuals out of more than $720,000 between September 2008 and May 2009.

The proposed plant was the Greenway Bio-Plant Joint Venture in Hunt County. According to a report from the Securities Board, Lawrence misrepresented that his company, Greenway Energy Partners, L.L.C., and/or the Greenway Bio-Plant Joint Venture had entered into an agreement with Sunx Energy, Inc., to build a biodiesel plant in Hunt County on behalf of the Greenway Bio-Plant Joint Venture. Lawrence also allegedly told investors in the Greenway Bio-Plant Joint Venture would receive annual returns on their investments of 33 percent for a period of five years and failed to disclose that previous investors’ funds were used to pay his personal expenses. He also failed to disclose that previous investors’ funds were used to pay for the expenses of projects other than the Greenway

Bio-Plant Joint Venture, including oil and gas projects and other alternative fuel projects.

And, according to Elder, Lawrence also failed to disclose that in October 2003 he entered into an agreed order with the Texas State Securities Board to cease and desist from acting as a dealer and/or agent in Texas until he became registered with the Securities Commission in the State of Texas or an available exemption from the dealer and/or agent registration requirements of the Texas Securities Act was utilized; and to cease and desist from the offer and sale of securities in the State of Texas until the securities became registered with the Securities Commissioner or an available exemption from the securities registration requirements of the Texas Securities Act was utilized.

Elder said that in 2004, Lawrence and his wife Jennifer Lawrence filed a Chapter 7 petition in Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division and that in In 2007 a lawsuit was filed against Lawrence in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Little Rock Division against L&C Consultants, Kenny Lawrence, and Todd Crosby alleging, among other things, violations of the Arkansas Securities Act by engaging in fraud and deceit in connection with the offer and sale of securities.

Elder said that on or about Jan. 30, 2009, the defendant, along with Todd Crosby and L&C Consultants, L.L.C., entered into an agreed judgment with Plaintiff Billy Ray Shurley to pay him the sum of $537,200, plus interest on that amount at the rate of 6 percent per annum and attorney’s fees of $100,000.

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