Energy Firm CEO Cops To $485M Investment Scheme

Law360, New York (November 9, 2012, 2:20 PM EST) -- An architect of a $485 million Ponzi scheme premised on fraudulent purchases of oil and gas interests pled guilty Friday in Texas federal court to ripping off thousands of investors, prosecutors said.

Paul R. Melbye copped to one count of conspiracy to defraud investors and faces up to five years behind bars for his role in duping 7,700 individuals while acting as CEO of Provident Royalties LLC, which falsely advertised annual returns of up to 18 percent through promised purchases of stakes in oil and gas...
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