Even as gas prices continue to drop across much of Texas and the United States, the sale of oil can still be a lucrative business opportunity for many people. Federal authorities believe that three men planned to steal oil from two different energy companies. Apparently, no oil was actually taken, although the men still face federal crime charges.
Three men have been indicted for the scheme, one of whom worked for Anardarko Petroleum Corp., while another was employed with Newfield Exploration Co. The third man actually owned a company that provided wastewater removal service, primarily to oil well sites. The two employees of the energy companies were given permission to allow the wastewater removal truck onto the premises.
Once on the property, the authorities suspect that the intention was to load the wastewater truck up with oil from storage tanks. From there, the oil would be sold and payment would be delivered through a wire transfer. Although it's unclear why authorities suspected that the men may have been planning to utilize the wastewater truck to take oil, both federal and state agencies pulled together for the investigation.
All three have been indicted on federal crime charges in Texas and, if convicted, could be looking at up to life in federal prison. Fines could also top out over $1.5 million. These men may be well advised to carefully review applicable laws and the specifics of the charges alongside their counsel before beginning to construct the best platform for defense possible. When faced with charges such as this, some find it most beneficial to fight the allegations to his or her fullest extent throughout the entirety of trial court proceedings. Based on whatever evidence may be available, others may find that entering into a plea deal can be a more appropriate course of action.
Source: blog.mysanantonio.com, "Feds accuse three in alleged scheme to steal Eagle Ford Shale oil", Jennifer Hiller, Nov. 21, 2014