Department of Financial Institutions
Jewell Robbins Pleads Guilty

Press Release Date:  Friday, February 13, 2009  
Contact Information:  Kelly May, Public Information Officer
502-573-3390 x252
800-223-2579 x252

   FRANKFORT, KY (Feb. 13, 2009) – Jewell Robbins, 76, of Nicholasville, pleaded guilty in Fayette County Circuit Court today to violating Kentucky’s securities laws.

   The charges are a result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Larson is prosecuting the case.

   On Sept. 29, 2008, a Fayette County grand jury indicted Robbins on four felony counts that she illegally sold securities related to the 1901 Spindletop oil strike.

   Today Robbins pleaded guilty to one count of violating Kentucky Revised Statute 292.330, which covers registration of broker-dealers, agents and investment advisers. The maximum possible penalty is five years in prison, and the commonwealth is recommending three years. Sentencing is set for April 10, 2009.

   “I want to thank Ray Larson’s office for bringing Robbins to justice,” said DFI Commissioner Charles Vice. “For years, DFI has sought to halt her illegal activities. Prosecution on criminal charges demonstrates the extent to which Robbins has defied Kentucky’s securities law.”

   Robbins, aka Jewell Burgin, recently served a 120-day jail sentence as a result of DFI’s civil court case regarding the specious offerings she has sold for many years. She was found in contempt of court because she continued to sell securities despite court orders in June 2006 and May 2007.

   On June 16, 2006, Robbins signed a voluntary, permanent injunction order that bars her from selling any securities, including partial interest in litigation or judgments. Robbins sold shares in baseless lawsuits that attempt to claim inheritance related to the 1901 Spindletop oil strike in Texas. An order was entered May 10, 2007, finding Robbins in contempt of court because she continued to sell securities, despite the injunction. In 2007, the judge sentenced her to 120 days in jail, but suspended the sentence contingent on her complying with the court orders. Robbins was found in contempt again on July 16, 2008, and served 120 days in jail.

   For more background information on DFI’s case against Robbins, visit

   DFI is an agency in the Public Protection Cabinet. It supervises the financial services industry by examining, chartering, licensing and registering various financial institutions, securities firms and professionals operating in Kentucky. DFI’s mission is to serve Kentucky residents by maintaining a stable financial industry, continuing effective and efficient regulatory oversight, promoting consumer confidence, and encouraging economic opportunities.