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.

Mark Alexander
5080 Spectrum, Suite 850E
Addison, Texas 75001
Ph: 972.544.6968
Fax: 972.421.1500
E-Mail: mark@markalexanderlaw.com
www.commerciallitigationtexas.com
www.oilandgasfraudlawyer.com

Photo of Mark Alexander Mark Alexander

Mark Alexander is the principal of the Firm. In 1979, he earned his undergraduate degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and his law degree at Thomas M. Cooley, Lansing, Michigan, in 1985 (Academic Dean’s List).

Mr. Alexander is licensed…

Mark Alexander is the principal of the Firm. In 1979, he earned his undergraduate degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and his law degree at Thomas M. Cooley, Lansing, Michigan, in 1985 (Academic Dean’s List).

Mr. Alexander is licensed to practice law by the Supreme Courts of the States of Texas (1985) and Michigan (1988), and holds licenses before the following courts: Supreme Court of Texas; Supreme Court of Michigan; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Sixth Circuits; United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas; and the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan. In addition he has been admitted in several other Federal and State Courts to represent Texas clients, who have been engaged in significant litigation in those jurisdictions.

Courts have appointed Mr. Alexander to serve as a receiver, and facilitator in complex litigation lawsuits. Additionally he has been a frequent lecturer for organizations on a variety of business law matters.  Mr. Alexander has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Significantly, Mr. Alexander is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating an attorney can receive.

Additionally, due to the complex nature of its practice, the Firm has an on-going relationship with a legal group that provides litigation support services. This group is comprised of a team of attorneys, whose combined capabilities allow the group to provide nearly 24-hour coverage at crucial times for any case. This arrangement is but one example of the innovative, cutting-edge approach that the Firm provides to its clients in order to improve representation at reduced legal fees.