Oilman’s Fraud Leads to Six Years in Prison
OKLAHOMA CITY – KEVIN WIECK, of Cromwell, Oklahoma, has been sentenced to six years in prison for wire fraud and money laundering, announced First Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.
On July 3, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a fifteen-count superseding indictment against Wieck, who owned and operated Wieck Oil Company, LLC. According to the indictment, Wieck’s fraudulent scheme involved two types of oil wells: three "vertical" wells and a "horizontal" well. Wieck sold working interests in the vertical wells that supposedly guaranteed investors percentages of oil revenue. He allegedly kept the majority of the money for himself rather than paying investors. Wieck sold and attempted to sell percentages of his supposed ownership interest in the horizontal well, when he in fact never actually owned—and therefore had no right to sell—any portion of that well. The five money laundering counts involved transfers of criminal proceeds in amounts larger than $10,000 between bank accounts. According to the indictment, Wieck fled to Mexico around late August 2014. He has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since April 11, 2018.
Trial began on September 11, 2018. Eight investors from Tulsa, Edmond, Michigan, Illinois, and elsewhere testified about Wieck’s false promises and misrepresentations in connection with the vertical wells. These investors had invested cash, co-signed loans with Wieck, or provided in-kind services such as drilling, road work, and construction on the wells at reduced rates. Two investors testified that Wieck solicited investments in the horizontal well. A local energy company executive who later assumed control of the three vertical wells confirmed that Wieck had a right to participate in the horizontal well but had never paid to exercise that right. He further explained that Wieck filed oil and gas assignments late and failed to secure division orders to pay investors directly. Instead, he exercised a "quick pay" option, which funneled all revenue into his own bank accounts.
An FBI forensic accountant confirmed during trial that Wieck received more than $1.17 million in revenue and—even after production and operating costs—pocketed at least $600,000, in addition to the value of investors’ in-kind contributions. Wieck’s ex-wife corroborated that she and Wieck splurged on hotel stays, vacations, and large purchases when investments came in.
After three days of testimony, a jury deliberated for approximately two hours before returning guilty verdicts on all counts on September 14.
On May 6, 2019, Chief U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton sentenced Wieck to 72 months in prison, or six years, to be followed by three years of supervised release. The court also ordered him to pay $358,256.92 in restitution to eight individual investors throughout the United States, as well as $1,500 in special assessments.
This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI Oklahoma City Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julia E. Barry and William E. Farrior prosecuted the case.
Reference is made to court filings for further information.