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Press Release

Former Financial Officer at Local Oil and Gas Company Pleads Guilty to Forgery and Signing a False Tax Return

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma LARRY SANFORD WATERS, of Edmond, Oklahoma, pled guilty yesterday to check forgery and signing a false federal income tax return, in connection with a $1.5 million embezzlement from a local oil and gas company, announced Mark A. Yancey, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. 

On January 27, 2016, Waters was charged by information with one count of a forged security and one count of filing a false federal income tax return.  From 1986 until early 2014, Waters handled accounting work and served as the financial officer at an Oklahoma City oil and gas company.  As part of his job, Waters prepared checks for the company to pay operating expenses and to pay oil well owners for their profits.  Yesterday, Waters pled guilty to preparing an unauthorized company check, in the amount of $65,541.32, to a separate business under his control.  He admitted that he did not have his employer’s permission in August 2011 to issue the check with the oil and gas company owner’s digital signature.  As part of his plea, Waters further admitted that he embezzled funds from his former employer from around 2004 through February of 2014 and stipulated that the total loss to the oil and gas company from his embezzlement scheme was $1,573,339.31.  Waters has already made payment to the victim in full for the stipulated amount of restitution. 

In addition to pleading guilty to forgery, Waters pled guilty to signing a false tax return.  He admitted that on January 25, 2013, he signed a personal federal tax return for the 2011 calendar year that he knew was false because it reported only $379,373 in total income.  At yesterday’s plea hearing, Waters admitted that he omitted on the 2011 return more than $420,000 of embezzled income for that year from his former employer. 

At sentencing, Waters faces up to 10 years in prison on the forgery count, plus three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.  Waters also faces up to three years in prison on the tax count, in addition to one year of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for the tax loss.  Waters will be sentenced on May 11, 2016.  Reference is made to the information and other public filings for further information.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris M. Stephens.

Updated February 10, 2016