Oklahoma men indicted in scheme to defraud mineral owners
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal grand jury in Oklahoma City has indicted three men, accusing them of scheming to defraud mineral owners out of at least $1.7 million in royalty payments, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Casey Jobe, 37, of Edmond, and Anthony Hilbers, 38, and Brandon Colbert, 39, both of Oklahoma City, all were alleged to have participated in the scheme. They’re facing charges that include conspiracy, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.
Jobe is a former analyst at Continental Resources who federal investigators say conspired to obtain royalty payments from accounts that had been suspended by Continental because the rightful owners had died or couldn’t be found. Authorities say fraudulent deeds were created so that payments were transferred from the legitimate owners to companies controlled by the men, and then the proceeds were divided among them.
Hilbers’ attorney, Ed Blau, said his client “vehemently denies the allegations against him.” Attorneys for Jobe and Colbert didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the indictments.
A spokeswoman for Oklahoma City-based Continental says the company “fully supports” the indictments against the three men.