Texas Attorney Defends Clients from Federal Oil & Gas Investment Fraud Charges
Board-certified trial lawyer fights allegations of white-collar crime
Oil and gas investments can be lucrative, but there are many risks or expenses involved in fossil fuel exploration and development. When investment returns fall significantly short of expectations, investors may suspect fraud or mismanagement and seek return of their funds. Sometimes, federal criminal investigations and prosecutions may be instigated. If you find yourself facing such actions, you should contact The Law Offices of Kevin L. Collins in San Antonio. With 30 years of criminal law practice, Mr. Collins has the knowledge and experience to mount an effective defense to oil and gas investment fraud charges. He will protect your rights as he works tirelessly to secure a favorable outcome in your matter.
Possible federal charges arising from oil and gas investment fraud allegations
Investment fraud is a federal crime. Since oil and gas interests are securities, fraud concerning those interests may violate provisions of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, such as those prohibiting:
- Fraudulent interstate transactions (15 U.S.C.A. § 77q) — Using instrumentalities, such as mail, telephone or Internet, to commit fraud
- Manipulative and deceptive devices (15 U.S.C.A. § 78j) — Schemes designed to get around regulations established by the Securities and Exchange Commission
- Manipulation of security prices (15 U.S.C.A. § 78i) — Schemes meant to inflate share prices to deceive shareholders, potential investors, lenders and others
The government may also choose to prosecute for fraud under more general laws, including tax statutes.
Common alleged fraud schemes can include the following elements:
- False or misleading statements in and about exploration licenses
- Unrealistic assumptions and improper assessment of projected returns on investments
- Deception in the calculation of actual or projected royalty payments
- Misappropriation of funds designated for business expenditures
- Manipulation of work-force expenditures
- Manipulation of production cut-off amounts to meet performance targets
- Fraud in environmental compliance
Investment fraud can result in lengthy federal prison sentences. You must take the charges seriously and retain the most experienced counsel you can find.
How to respond to news of a federal investigation
If the SEC or other federal authorities suspect fraud, investigators will demand to see your business records. The worst thing you can do at this point is to attempt damage control yourself. You can hurt yourself by hiding or destroying evidence and may wind up being convicted of an additional crime — such as obstruction of justice or lying to federal agents — even if federal prosecutors do not have evidence to prove the fraud offense.
In cases of fraud and other white collar crimes, Kevin L. Collins often gets involved before formal charges are filed, making sure the accused’s rights and interests are protected. If you find yourself under investigation for fraud, the sooner you engage counsel, the better prepared your defense will be.
Contact a board-certified criminal defense lawyer for oil and gas fraud charges in San Antonio
The Law Offices of Kevin L. Collins, P.C. in San Antonio provides knowledgeable and strategic defense to white collar crime charges, including oil and gas investment fraud. To schedule a consultation, call us at 210-598-8629 or contact us online. We are conveniently located at the IBC Centre, 130 East Travis Street, easily accessible from I-35 and I-37.