DALLAS (CN) – Three recidivist felons rolled people for $1.5 million in a phony Oklahoma oil well venture, federal prosecutors said.
David Kevin Lewis aka David Shane Lewis, Bruce Kyle Griffith and Thomas Alden Markham were indicted in Federal Court this week on one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and 24 counts of securities fraud and aiding and abetting.
Prosecutors say they used Richardson-based Always Consulting Inc. to sell working interests in several wells in the Rattlesnake Springs drilling program, which the defendants claimed would be in the Osage National Reserve in Oklahoma.
According to the 24-page indictment, the defendants lied to investors about using the money solely to drill, test and complete the wells, but converted the money for themselves through shell entities Davmom Inc. and Diversified Group International, among others.
Prosecutors say the defendants also failed to disclosed their felony convictions: that Lewis had been convicted of securities fraud in 2000 and ordered to pay $2.2 million in restitution; that Markham was convicted of mail fraud in 2000 and ordered to pay $395,000 in restitution; and that Griffith was convicted of bank robbery in 1994 and theft and conspiracy to possess counterfeit bills in 1989.
Twenty-three investors from at least 14 states invested $25,000 to $100,000 a piece in the phony program, from June to August of 2006, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors also seek forfeiture of all property derived from the scheme.