William Logsdon, Lacrosse coach from Midland Texas, and mother-in-law, Jamie Thompson, oil and gas geologist, were recently convicted of financial crimes. For one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and four counts of aiding and abetting wire fraud, Logsdon was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Thompson pled guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison. CBS7 Report
The oil and gas financial investment business can be tricky. Maneuvering around Ponzi schemes and thieves, isn’t for the inexperienced investor. In the case of Logsdon and Thompson, they used relationships from Lacrosse to gather their victims.
Lacrosse originated as a way for Native tribes to resolve wars, settle arguments and territorial disputes. Logsdon twisted this ancient tool of diplomacy into attracting financial investors into his own oil and gas Ponzi scheme.
Twenty victims unwittingly enrolled in Logsdon and Thompson’s school of hard knocks. Victims invested $2.1 million in this fraudulent oil and gas investment. Investors thought their investments were purchasing royalty interests in various Texas and New Mexico oil, gas and mineral projects.
Royalty interests were allegedly purchased through multiple companies, including National Royalty Group (NRG). National Royalty Group is not even a shell corporation. It flat out does not exist. Justice Department Sentencing Press Release The fraudsters used other peoples’ money to pay personal expenses and to make Ponzi scheme payments.
Friends and Family Victims
Many of the victims met Logsdon and Thompson through a travelling youth lacrosse program. The Fort Worth Star Telegram (as reported by Yahoo News) discovered some of the victims. Parents of one lacrosse player invested $97,500. Two retired teachers invested a combined $40,000. And Logsdon even tricked one of his uncles into investing $22,500. Yahoo News
As for oil and gas fraud cases, this case is pretty straight-forward. Given the simple fact pattern, several lessons on how to avoid Ponzi schemes and investment fraud emerge.
Family and Friends
- Financial investment thieves often know their victims. Family and friends are easy targets for financial investment scam artists. They have an audience that trusts them, and are willing to take full advantage of them. Don’t fall into the trust trap. Always perform due diligence.
Common Areas Of Interest
- Many fraudsters use common areas of interest to develop relationships within groups for finding victims of their Ponzi scheme. Religion and church groups have been targets, along with groups of people in a country celebrating their immigrant history. Logsdon utilized sports and teacher contacts.
Research People and Companies
- Many times, fraudulent investments and the sales agents are not appropriately registered with state securities or federal securities agencies. Go to your state’s website and the SEC to find out more about the corporation and its officers. Is the corporation in good standing? Do your research on all company names mentioned, especially the one to which you send money. Sometimes, as the case here with National Royalty Group, the companies are non-existent. Check for corporate registration or EIN with the IRS. This information is usually available on-line.
We hope all your real estate, cryptocurrency and oil and gas investments are safe and profitable. But if you find yourself searching for an experienced investment fraud attorney, oil and gas litigation lawyer or a commercial litigation attorney, we are here to help.