Delano Man Pleads Guilty To Lying To Investors In Bixby Energy Scam
MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday in federal court in St. Paul, a 62-year-old Delano man pleaded
guilty to conspiring to mislead investors in an effort to induce them into committing large sums
of money to Bixby Energy Systems, Inc., a Ramsey-based alternative energy company. Gary
Albert Collyard specifically pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities
fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Collyard was charged on February 22,
2012, and entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson.
In his plea agreement, Collyard admitted that from January of 2006 through December of
2010, he conspired with Robert Allen Walker, Dennis Luverne Desender, and others to use
manipulative and deceptive practices in an effort to sell company securities. Collyard was a
“finder,” responsible for raising funds for Bixby. He accomplished this by communicating by
telephone, mail, email, and in person, often providing false information to entice new investors
or induce current investors to continue to provide the company with funds. Collyard also
concealed information or misled investors regarding company projects, including a coal
gasification project, which he said was ready for market, when, in fact, it was not. Moreover,
Collyard failed to disclose that Bixby was in dire financial condition, and he admittedly
solicited unqualified investors to invest in the company. In exchange for investment funds,
investors were provided with Bixby securities; and while some investment money was used by
the company, a significant portion was spent on high salaries and commissions for Collyard and
In entering his guilty plea, Collyard also admitted that from April of 2005 through
September of 2011, he conspired with others to defraud multiple banks out of approximately
$1.3 million through his real estate company, the Collyard Group. He admitted making
numerous misrepresentations to those banks in order to receive business loans. Those
misrepresentations included stating that the Collyard Group had a successful real estate
development business with multiple customers; that he had a personal financial wealth of more
than $20 million; that he had an active real estate license; and that he would pay back the loans.
Collyard, however, used the business loans to pay personal debt, living expenses, and private
schooling for his children.
In December of 2011, Bixby’s founder Robert Allen Walker, age 69, of Ramsey,
Minnesota, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Also in
December of 2011, the company, Bixby Energy Systems, admitted defrauding investors of
between $2.5 and $7 million and took responsibility for the acts of its former officers and
agents. In September of 2011, Dennis Luverne Desender, age 64, a consultant and the former
acting chief financial officer for Bixby Energy, pleaded guilty to securities fraud, admitting he
used manipulative and deceptive practices in an effort to sell company securities.
For his crimes, Collyard faces a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison on each
charge. Judge Nelson will determine his sentence at a future hearing. This case is the result of
an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal
Investigation Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian S. Wilton.