Crime pays, even when you are sitting in jail. Just ask Robert Joseph Mangiafico, Jr. He’s no Robert the Magnificent, but he knows how to make your money disappear in oil and gas investments.
Mangiafico and his team at Premier Resources, as recently as November, were cold-calling Texas residents to offer investments in 61 oil wells in McClain County, Oklahoma. At $50/barrel investors were told they could to earn a 29% return on this project called Oklahoma Premier Trinity. The Texas Securities Commissioner has issued a cease and desist order, and the Carrollton Police Department executed a search warrant at Premier’s office. Texas Securities Board November Announcement
The Oklahoma Premier Trinity oil and gas investment sounds sweet. At $200,000/unit or $25,000 for an eighth of a unit, investors annual return “could rise to 35% if the price of oil increases to $65 per barrel, according to the order.” Premier Resources claims they solicit funds from investors that are accredited, so their securities need not be registered. However, it is unclear what steps Mangiafico’s team took to determine if investors qualified as being accredited. Furthermore, none of the sales agents were registered as required to sell securities in the State of Texas. Texas Securities Board November Announcement
Mangiafico’s dastardly deeds date back decades. Most recently he served four years of a 40-year sentence from 2011’s fraud netting him over $600,000 of elderly women’s money. Mangiafico pled guilty to theft and money laundering after convincing investors to cash out their investments and give the money to him to purchase annuities on their behalf. No annuities were purchased. Instead Mangiafico used the money to fund his personal lifestyle. Texas Securities Board Announcement in 2013 regarding Mangiafico’s plea.
Despite a few convictions, Mangiafico keeps landing on his feet.
- Not only was Mangiafico managing Premier while on parole, but he even continued his business while in jail for two months for another traffic violation.
- 2010 conviction in Travis County. Mangiafico pled guilty to theft for an elderly individual. He received a deferred adjudication sentence and was ordered to pay his victim over $21,000.
- 2010 conviction in Travis County for theft. Sentence: 90 days in county jail.
- 2009 conviction in Denton County of boating while intoxicated and sentenced to 100 days in county jail.
- 2003 conviction in Collin County of unauthorized use of motor vehicle. Pled guilty and sentenced to 180 days in state jail.
- 2003 conviction in Dallas County for theft of property. Pled guilty and sentenced to 180 days in state jail. Emergency Cease and Desist Order
When will Mangiafico stop the investment fraud? It’s unlikely to be any time soon. Investors must be diligent in investigating deals with so many Mangiafico’s on the prowl. These fraudsters are great salesmen. Don’t believe what you are told over the phone. Take time to determine if your sales person and the securities offering are registered with the state. Check the criminal history of the people in the deal. Don’t just invest based on your gut feeling.