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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Former oil and gas mineral rights investment fund manager charged with fraud

HOUSTON – A 41-year-old Spring resident is set to appear in federal court on charges of fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Christopher Russell Bentley is expected to make his initial appearance today at 2 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheldon.

The criminal information, filed Aug. 16, charges him with one count of fraud. From February 2019 through April 2021, Bentley managed different oil and gas mineral rights investment funds, according to the charges. During that time, he allegedly inflated the value of oil and gas mineral rights he sold to investment funds and used their money to obtain a loan of $6.5 million for personal benefit.

The charges further allege he fraudulently obtained $3,972,492 from investors.

If convicted, Bentley faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Braddock is prosecuting the case.

An information is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated August 23, 2022