SEC files fraud charges against California-based gold miner

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has accused California-based mining company Nekekim Corp. and its chief executive officer of defrauding hundreds of investors in a scam involving a fruitless gold mining venture.

According to the SEC, the miner and CEO Kenneth Carlton deceitfully lured investors to spend $16 million on the company's Nevada mine site.

Court documents filed in Fresno federal court show that, from 2001 to 2011, Nekekim drew in not only U.S. investors, but also those from Canada, Australia and Singapore. As Nekekim failed to produce mining revenue, records say Carlton gave shareholders false hopes the company was perfecting a plan to extract gold deposits worth at least $1.7 billion.

The agency says Carlton and Nekekim neither admitted nor denied the SEC's allegations but agreed to a court order requiring Carlton to pay a $50,000 penalty.