A judge has continued his order to freeze the bank accounts of a Bigfork businessman suspected of securities fraud.

Deputy Securities Commissioner Lynne Egan testified Tuesday that John "Kevin" Moore collected $2.7 million from 36 investors and made payments to earlier investors with funds from later investors. Records suggest he spent about $1.4 million on personal expenses.

The Missoulian reports attorney Shawn Hinchey told District Judge Robert Allison that continuing to freeze the accounts could jeopardize a possible sale of oil and gas leases that could help Moore repay the people who invested in Big Sky Mineral Resources.

Court and county records indicate BSMR bought the oil and gas leases in Lewis and Clark County for $450,000 in August 2014, when oil prices were double the current rate.