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Investors seek control in company

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) -- North Dakota investors of an ethanol plant operated by an Iowa man want financial control in the energy company behind it.

The Mason City Globe Gazette reported Robert Hylden and Darren Sheldon, both of Fargo, N.D., have filed a petition in Cerro Gordo County District Court. It asks the court to appoint a receiver to take temporary control of Energae LP to ensure additional assets aren't misspent.

The men claim Darrell Smith, of Forest City, solicited their investments for the North Dakota plant through misrepresentations. The Iowa Insurance Division revoked Smith's insurance and securities license over allegations he misspent the money.

Smith's attorney, Kathryn Barnhill, said her client did not solicit investments from Hylden and Sheldon. She said no securities laws have been broken.

A hearing is scheduled Tuesday.