Landman Who Ripped Off Pennsylvania Landowners Pleads Guilty
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
William J. Ray, 29, of Monroeville, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and could face about three years in prison under federal guidelines when he is sentenced on Jan. 10.
Mr. Ray's accused business partner, Derek A. Candelore, 33, of Jeannette, has pleaded not guilty to similar charges. The two were "landmen," securing drilling leases for sale to firms working in the Marcellus Shale.
According to assistant U.S. attorney Nelson Cohen, the two wrote up and filed false deeds and forged the signatures of property owners, transferring mineral rights to "bogus companies" they created.
"They thereafter sold and leased the mineral rights to Range Resources" and other companies, he said.