Texas Oil Ponzi Schemer Could Face 7 Years Under Plea Deal

Law360, New York (February 15, 2017, 3:58 PM EST) -- A Texas man charged with mail fraud for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme disguised as an oil and gas investment opportunity struck a plea bargain with federal prosecutors Wednesday that will land him in prison for up to seven years if a judge approves it.

James VanBlaricum, 77, had been arrested last summer and formally indicted in November with scamming dozens of investors into sending him more than $2 million between 2006 and 2009 for oil leases that mostly went to earlier investors, VanBlaricum's "sales agents" and the accused schemer's own bottom line.

Although mail fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20...

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