2012 Arizona gold mining scheme.
Prosecutors linked the two schemes by
following money from the Liberty Bell
scheme—being run by former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington—
into an account controlled by Krisztian
Gal and proceeds from that account
to Steve Carpenter. The Arizona gold
mine scheme was shut down by state
authorities in May of 2013. Trial testimony revealed that Campa had received
a $900,000 commission for his role in
bringing in a $4.5 million investment
into the Liberty Bell scheme. 42
Campa’s incredible history of telemar-
keting and investment fraud prepared him
for the Pocklington and Quartzsite mining
operations. Judge Haddon obviously decid-
ed that nothing short of prison would stop
At sentencing, prosecutors emphasized
Campa’s long history of telemarketing
and investment fraud. On July 8, 1993,
Campa pled guilty in California to mail
fraud. Campa owned and operated a
company named International Market-
ing Concepts, which was engaged in
extensive telemarketing fraud.
While free on bail after the first
guilty plea, Campa resumed his illegal
telemarketing activities. He was rearrested on February 4, 1994. On
March 17, 1994, he pled guilty to two
more counts of wire fraud.
On October 11, 2012, the United
States filed a pleading with the Court
outlining Campa’s involvement in other
fraudulent investment promotions.
Campa, both individually or through
his association with other telemarketing
schemes as a salesman, was the subject
of cease and desist orders from Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Washington
State. On April 2, 2007, the State of
Colorado obtained a default judgment
against Mike Campa in the amount of
$476,875 for his role in an oil and gas
investment fraud scheme called Universal Energy Solutions. 43
Recent cases teach several lessons.
First, Arizona mining scams are not a
thing of the past. This form of fraudulent
scheme is alive and in good standing. At
least $20 million was raised from investors
in mining scams based on Arizona properties since 2002.
Second, the pool of potential investor–victims refreshes itself over a period of
years, apparently in less than a decade. Let
enough time pass and a new generation of
unwary and eager investors steps forward.
Third, that same passage of time allows
the scam operators to recycle already-used
properties and claims to mineral wealth.
The Sheep Hill property shall probably
again be proposed as a source of gold or
platinum in cinders in the not-so-distant
26. David Baines, Naxos in Forefront of Desert Dirt Plays, VAN-
COUVER SUN, Jan. 13, 1998,
Local Business, at 1.
27. Int’l Precious Metals Corp. v.
State of Arizona et al., No. CV
97-14220 (Maricopa County
29. IPM De-Listed from Nasdaq,
company release, April 17, 1998.
30. IPM files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, company release, June 19, 1998. In Re Int’l
Precious Metals Corp., Debtor,
Case No. B-98-07721-PHX-
SSC (U.S. Bankr. Ct., D. Ariz.).
31. Former Edmonton Oilers Owner Accused of Gold Mine Scam,
PHOENIX BUS. J., April 16,
32. Gold Mine Scam Alleged in La
Paz County, ARIZ. GEOLOGY
(blog of the State Geologist
of Arizona), April 14, 2012,
34. Pocklington Accused of Securities
Fraud in Arizona, CTV NEWS
EDMONTON, April 14, 2012,
ties-fraud in-arizona- 1.796363
35. See supra note 32.
36. Canadian Instit. of Mining,
Metallurgy & Petrol., National
Instrument 43-101, March 27,
37. Gold Mining Securities Fraud
Draws $5 Million in Restitution
and Penalties, ARIZ. GEOLOGY
(blog of the State Geologist of
Arizona), May 8, 2013, http://
38. Arizona Corporation Commis-
sion, release, Commission Halts
Unregistered Investments That
Cost Investors over $7.8 Million,
May 1, 2013.
39. Pocklington To Begin Jail
Sentence Dec. 9, CTV NEWS
EDMONTON, Sept. 20, 2013,
40. Ringleader of Bakken Investment
Fraud Scheme Sentenced to 30
Years in Prison, ASSOCIATED
PRESS, Jan. 30, 2014.
42. United States Attorney’s Of-
fice, District of Montana, press
release, 30 Years Without Parole,
A judge sentenced a California man
Thursday to 30 years in prison and
ordered him to repay more than $5.1
million to victims duped into putting
their money into nonexistent oil-and-gas
projects in Montana and a gold mining
scheme in Arizona.
U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon
told Yorba Linda resident Mike Campa,
55, that he was imposing the lengthy
sentence because Campa had spent his
adult life defrauding others and the judge
believed “would take it up with great
vigor” once more if back on the street. …
Before handing down his sentence,
Haddon allowed Campa to make a
statement. Campa unleashed an unre-
pentant tirade in which he called his
previous federal public defender ineffec-
tive and blamed the federal government
for misinformation and intimidation
that led to his family’s convictions.
Once the truth comes out, he said,
“I pray to God the guilty will be held
There was no mine, only mining claims
in an area without enough water to produce
the promised amounts of precious metals. 41
Furthermore, Campa’s activities were relat-
ed to the Pocklington case described above:
Judge Haddon also heard evidence
of Campa’s involvement in a 2011-