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Press Release

Brambleton Man Sentenced for Investment Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Brambleton man was sentenced today to two years in prison for an oil, gas, and energy investment fraud scheme.

According to court documents, between January 2014 and August 2019, Ryan Riley, 50, a registered investment advisor, defrauded at least nine investors of approximately $434,100 by making false promises about oil, gas, and energy investments. Riley made false statements about promised returns, supposed partners, and specific wells and leases that had been identified for the projects he was pitching. He told investors that their funds were going to be used for oil, gas, and energy related projects. Over time, Riley told those victims that certain deals fell through, but that the victims’ investments would be converted to new oil, gas, and energy projects. However, despite Riley’s promises, he routinely transferred the funds to his personal accounts where he used the funds for other purposes including paying at least $149,000 towards his mortgage and making risky stock trades, which resulted in substantial losses.

As part of his sentence, Riley was ordered to pay $434,100 in forfeiture, $388,750 in restitution.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Wayne A. Jacobs; Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.

The U.S. Attorney also commends the Philadelphia Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Virginia State Corporation Commission (VSCC), which conducted parallel civil investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly M. Shartar prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:23-cr-43.

Updated June 6, 2023

Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud