A Drumright man was convicted in federal court today for stealing $ 401, $ 146 in funds and oil and gas products from his former employer, Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson said.
US District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced David Owen West, 59, to 21 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Justice Eagan further ordered West to pay restitution in the amount of $ 401,146 to Petco Petroleum. West had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. The defendant will surrender on August 4, 2021.
“David West carried out two criminal schemes against his employer, Petco Petroleum, and pocketed more than $ 400,000 in cash and stolen goods,” Interim US Attorney Clint Johnson said. “West’s criminal acts and deception finally caught up with him. The convicted felon will spend nearly two years in federal prison thanks to the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles McLoughlin, IRS-Criminal Investigation and FBI Special Agents, U.S. Attorney’s Office investigator Don Shoemake, and U.S. Attorney General retired FBI Special Agent Daniel Risner.
“I am very proud of the hard work and efforts of the women and men of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office who contributed to the success of the prosecution against this individual which resulted in the conviction of today, “said Acting Special Agent Responsible Mark Pearson, Dallas Field Office. “Mr. West stole nearly half a million dollars from a company he trusted and relied on. He lied and betrayed their trust for his personal gain, justifying the punishment for his crimes.”
West completed his projects at Petco Petroleum, an Illinois oil and gas company where he worked for almost 30 years. In a scheme, West produced and submitted to Petco Petroleum fraudulent invoices for services that were never rendered, totaling $ 129,038, which his employer paid in full and West pocketed. In a second ploy, West hired trucks to transport oil stolen from his employer’s oil concessions to a salvager who then paid him $ 266,802 for the oil. West then billed Petco Petroleum for transporting its own stolen oil.
As a field supervisor and oilfield firefighter working in Oklahoma for Petco Petroleum (Petco), West checked the wells to ensure they were functioning properly and to assess oil production as well as selected suppliers from from which the company would purchase the products or services needed to operate the wells. In order to be paid by Petco, suppliers submitted invoices and documents for goods or services provided to the company for review and approval by West. West then sent the approved invoices to Petco each month for inclusion in the company’s monthly accounts payable processing.
In early 2015, West acquired property in Drumright, Oklahoma, and on October 27, 2015, legally registered Flash Electric Services, LLC, using Drumright’s address, from the Oklahoma Secretary of State. Flash was used as part of West’s scheme to defraud his employer. From September 2015 to December 2016, West included 116 fraudulent Flash invoices, totaling $ 129,038.00, in monthly documents sent to Petco for alleged electrical services that were never performed on the company’s oil wells. business in Oklahoma. Based on these invoices, Petco sent 15 separate checks via US Mail to Flash to Drumright to pay for the alleged services. All payments from Petco to Flash were then deposited into bank accounts controlled by West.
In addition to the Flash False Bill system, West arranged for the transport of approximately 50 shipments of oil from Petco by Lightning Tank Truck and Independent Trucking to US Oil Reclaimers, Inc. West sold and delivered approximately $ 266,802 of stolen oil to the United States. recuperator. West ordered the company to issue the payment to himself or to Flash Services and personally collected the checks. He then sent his employer payment invoices from the two trucking companies for the cost of transporting the stolen Petco oil, totaling $ 5,306. After West approved the trucking bills to pay, Petco issued and mailed checks to the two trucking companies.
The IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation with assistance from the FBI. Assistant US Attorney Charles M. McLoughlin continued the case.