Hamilton County woman pleads guilty to securities fraud

August 19, 2010

A Hamilton County woman accused of running a deceptive stock-sale scheme pleaded guilty to securities fraud Wednesday in Marion Superior Court.

Dorothy Geisler-Tragardh, 51, faces a year of home detention and three years probation when sentenced Oct. 13. She also must perform 400 hours of community service and pay $1.9 million in restitution to 11 investors.

In March 2009, the state’s securities division secured an asset freeze against Geisler-Tragardh, who had been a partner in a clean-coal energy company called Praxis Resource Partners LLC.

Her business partners alerted state officials when they suspected she was pocketing investor funds and using them for personal expenses, including the purchase of a home on Geist Reservoir.

The charges accused her of selling Class A company shares valued at 30 cents per share to investors for $56 each, while misrepresenting them as Class B shares.

Praxis formed in September 2006 by Geisler-Tragardh and partners W.C. Perryman III and Edward N. Flynn to develop a coal-gasification process in eastern Texas. Perryman and Flynn were not involved in the alleged fraud, according to court documents.

Last March, Marion Superior Court Judge Patrick McCarty froze Geisler-Tragardh's assets, including Picasso artwork, her luxury waterfront home, a Rolex watch, a diamond, a Mercedes Benz and two other cars and a boat.


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