Galveston, Texas has been home to explorer, Jean Lafitte, football star Dez Bryant, R&B legend, Barry White and convicted oil and gas fraudster, Daniel Christopher Walsh. Haven’t heard of Mr. Walsh? Heads up—just another criminal masquerading as an oil and gas investment expert.
Fraudulent oil and gas investment schemes may not be as common as football in the fall, but you don’t need to search long before uncovering an “investment opportunity” to get rich by drilling your way to riches. Before throwing your hard-earned dollars down a well, you’ll want to know about people like Walsh.
One Thing Leads To Another
Walsh was first caught selling unregistered oil and gas investments through Western Capital, Inc. in 2005 by the Pennsylvania Securities Commission. They sanctioned him for a deal in Southeast Texas near Victoria.
From 2007 to 2009, Walsh raised money for the High Island wells project and more recently raised almost $500,000 from 12 investors for drilling Sun Fee wells one and two in the High Island area of Galveston. One victim was a pilot at Sheppard Air Force Base and another was a retired real estate broker. Unfortunately, Walsh used their money for non-oil and gas related items like paying his $6,000 a month mortgage, instead of actually drilling for oil. SSB News Alert
Sitting in Jail
Walsh didn’t skate free this time. In July he was “sentenced to 18 years in state prison after pleading guilty to money laundering in an oil and gas fraud case in Wichita County.”
And, a Harris County grand jury indicted Walsh on “first-degree felony charges of securities fraud, money laundering, and theft in connection with the sale of investments in oil wells that were supposed to be drilled in Galveston County.” SSB News Alert
Civil Actions against Walsh
The size of this oil and gas deal may not be nearly as large as others we’ve reported, but the victims’ losses still sting. At least one victim filed suit against Walsh and Western Capital. That victim is one of our clients.
Don’t be a Victim
To help steer clear of oil and gas investment fraud, remember:
- Is the investment security registered with a state Securities Commission or the SEC?
- Did the salesperson claim they didn’t need to register the security as long as investors were accredited? Did they verify you are accredited?
- Did part of the sales pitch say the investment is a joint venture or a partnership, so they don’t have to register the security?
- What is the background of the parties involved? Any criminal history? Past deals gone awry? Don’t rely on what the person asking for your money says. Do your own investigation.
- Are you a first-time oil and gas investor? Consider first calling your attorney and investment advisor.
We hope all your oil and gas investments yield great results. But if you find yourself searching for an experienced oil and gas litigation lawyer, we are here to help.