New Albany, Ind. (WHAS11) - It's an investigation WHAS11 has been following for more than a year involving an oil and gas company with close ties to a convicted felon.
WHAS11 has now learned that the family business continues operating more than a year after David Rose agreed to plead guilty to fraud and tax evasion charges, with Rose's son Brian now in charge.
They're never glad to see a television camera at 1829 East Spring Street in New Albany, Indiana and Tuesday was no exception.
Employees of a company not listed on the front sign lowered window shades, turned from exits and cut smoke breaks short in an effort to keep us from finding out what was going on inside.
WHAS11 returned Tuesday trying to find out more about Earth Energy Exploration, which is an oil and gas drilling operation that once paid convicted felon David Rose $10,000 a week in consulting fees.
A man who didn’t identify himself told WHAS11 that Earth Energy Exploration had moved to Tennessee.
But a former employee, who we’ll call “A.J.” had smuggled out the paperwork to prove it was still in operation in Southern Indiana.
A.J. went to work for the company for $350 a week as a fronter, a person responsible for making 300 phone calls a day soliciting investors.
A.J. was one of four dozen people who worked recently at the EEE office in New Albany.
Those who convinced potential investors to request sales packets earned bonuses and got to spin a "Wheel of Fortune" style wheel with cash prizes.
“The first day that I worked there, they gave away $2,500 to people spinning off that wheel,” A.J. said. “I was amazed. I was like ‘Lord, I'm in the right spot,’ until I started finding out was they was really, really doing. “
A.J. says what they were really doing was trying to get everything they could out of potential investors all over the country, who received little or no returns.
“Everything they had. they would ask people to do I.R.A.s. If you put your house up, your car up, anything that you have in the bank, savings account, everything,” said A.J.
And A.J. says they were encouraged to use scripts saying they were teamed up with big oil companies.
“Texaco, Exxon, Mobil. They wanted us to use all of them,” said A.J..
And A.J. said they urged employees to make promises of big returns.
“We would tell them 100 percent return on everything they invested. they would automatically get it back,” said A.J.
Both practices are violations of federal securities regulations.
Brian Rose was cited for similar actions when he worked for Berkshire Resources, which was located in the same building.
A.J. also told us Brian Rose showed up at the office every day except Friday.