Hillsboro Man Made $7.9 Million With Oil and Gas Fraud Scheme

A Hillsboro man was indicted Tuesday on charges of carrying out a $7.9 million oil and gas fraud scheme.

According to acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall, 70-year-old David K. Lawson  is charged with one count of wire fraud. The indictment alleges the crime occurred while Lawson was the owner and director of Sonstone Trading, LLC.

Lawson made a deal for Sonstone to sell 90 barrels a day of crude oil to Parnon Gathering, Inc. Crude oil is unrefined oil produced from oil wells. What Sonstone provided to Parnon was in fact not crude oil. It was raw gas oil (RGO), which is a mixture of various refined petroleum products with a very low vapor pressure and a lesser commercial value.

For more information on oil and gas fraud from the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, see www.stopfraud.gov/oil-gas-fwg.html

If convicted, Lawson faces a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000 and restitution. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger is prosecuting.