Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Four Guilty Pleas Entered in Oil Field Fraud Hearings/five More Expected by Wednesday

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Four Guilty Pleas Entered in Oil Field Fraud Hearings/five More Expected by Wednesday

Article excerpt

Guilty pleaswere entered Monday by four oil industry workers on charges they had lied on their income tax returns, committed mail fraud or conspired to commit mail fraud.

The pleas are part of an ongoing investigation by the U.S. district attorney's office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service into oil field fraud through sending fraudulent invoices through the U.S. mail, kickbacks and organized collusion among oil company employees.

Five more pleas are expected to be entered today and Wednesday, said Mike Ringer, assistant U.S. district attorney. A total of 30 to 40 oil industry workers could be implicated in mail fraud and filing false tax returns, U.S. District Attorney Bill Price had said in earlier interviews.

The following pleas were entered Monday before U.S. District Judge Luther Bohannon during hearings in federal court at Oklahoma City:

- James Richard Wheeler, 45, currently an insurance agent, pleaded guilty for falsifying his income tax statements by failing to report additional income he received from his dealings in the oil industry.

- Billy Eugene Malone, 59, a drilling consultant, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud after having cooperating with the U.S. district attorney's office to uncover fraud in the oil industry.

- Brothers Robert L. Poindexter, 41, and Alton E. Poindexter, 39, entered the final two guilty pleas for conspiring to falsify their tax returns.

Wheeler had worked for J & T Tank Trucks, and was signing false invoices after they were prepared by Darrell Dean Young, president of Sindlee Oil Services Inc. of Maysville, Okla. Young pleaded guilty March 16 to filing his firm's tax return with an overstatement of $280,000 for the cost of oil purchased for resale in 1982.

Under the false invoice scheme, Wheeler would later receive a share of the kickback. On a $4,000 transaction, Wheeler stood to gain $400 to $600, said Mike Ringer, assistant U. …

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