Fort Worth oil, gas owner sentenced to 17 years in prison in $30 million fraud case by Nicole Lopez, June 23, 2023, Yahoo News
A Fort Worth owner of oil and gas companies was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for running a multi-million dollar fraudulent scheme, announced Leigha Simonton, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Billy Marcum, Jr., 67, pleaded guilty in December 2022 to wire fraud.
On Thursday, he was sentenced to 210 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, who also ordered Marcum to pay more than $16 million in restitution.
Marcum — the owner of multiple oil and gas companies, including Navarro Minerals, Caddo I, Bluecreek Operating, Fullspike Energy, Viejo Services, and Viejo Exploration — solicited money from investors, telling them their funds would be used to purchase oil and gas leases and to pay for well oil repairs, according to plea papers. He also told investors that returns would be paid out of profits from the ensuing oil and gas sales.
“Instead of purchasing the leases, Marcum used money from new investors to fund earlier investors’ returns, lulling them into believing their investments were sound and that they should continue investing with him,” said Simonton in a news release Friday. Marcum also used some of the investment money to pay personal expenses.
Marcum fabricated reports about oil production and sales and sent those reports to investors. The false run statements noted purported lease names and numbers, the gross volume of product taken, sales value, taxes paid, dates, and net amount to be paid to the operator.
Marcum also recorded false lease assignments related to his scheme in counties throughout Texas to disguise his crime.
Around September 2018, Marcum “realized” he lacked sufficient revenues and could no longer raise sufficient funds to pay existing investors, said Simonton.
Marcum conspired with a man, Jay Taylor, to solicit investor funds on behalf of several of his companies. Marcum knowingly supplied false information to Taylor, who used the information to successfully solicit additional funds.
In April 2022, Marcum admitted to FBI agents that he concocted false run statements about oil and gas sales and sent them directly to some investors and indirectly, through Taylor, to others in order to entice investments. He also admitted that he used new investor funds to pay off other investors and represented to them that the returns were from oil sales.
At sentencing, prosecutors said Marcum defrauded over 150 victims, collecting nearly $30 million in investor funds and inflicting over $16 million in losses.
Taylor also pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced in April to eight years in federal prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office — Fort Worth Resident Office conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nancy Larson, John de la Garza, and Beverly Chapman prosecuted the case.
Refer also to:
“Frack Master” Breitling Energy CEO Christopher Aundre Faulkner sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, fined $92,446,376.46. He was most cited US media voice and tried to infiltrate Canadian media too; sums up how evil frac’ing is.