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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 27, 2020

Federal Jury in San Antonio Convicts Two Relatives for Scheme to Steal Oil from Energy Companies Operating in the South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale

In San Antonio this afternoon, a federal jury convicted 49–year-old Luis Valencia of San Antonio, and his nephew, 34-year-old Mauricio Valencia of San Antonio, for their scheme to steal oil from oil companies and oilfield service companies operating in the South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.

Jurors convicted Luis Valencia of ten counts of theft from interstate shipments, ten counts of wire fraud, ten counts of money laundering and four counts of transportation of stolen goods.  Jurors convicted Mauricio Valencia of ten counts of theft from interstate shipments, one count of wire fraud and four counts of transportation of stolen goods.  Evidence presented during trial revealed that from September 2013 through February 2016, the defendants engaged in a scheme with others to steal approximately 33,000 barrels of crude oil valued in excess of $1.8 million.  In 2013, Luis Valencia and others began using Houston-based Andra Energy, LLC, to serve as a collection point in Cotulla, TX, for oil stolen from nearby oil storage facilities.  To conceal their criminal actions, the defendants filed false documents with the Texas Railroad Commission to make it appear that the stolen oil was derived from legitimate transactions.

Following the verdict, Senior U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth remanded both defendants to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.  Theft of interstate shipment calls for up to ten years in federal prison.  Wire fraud calls for up to 20 years in federal prison.  Money laundering calls for up to ten years in federal prison.  Transportation of stolen goods call for up to ten years in federal prison.  Sentencing has yet to be scheduled.

The FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation and Texas Attorney General’s Office investigated this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney William F. Lewis, Jr., is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated January 27, 2020