Oil & Gas News

Oklahoma Attorney and Cousin Sentenced for Defrauding Oil Company

Oklahoma, Prison, Sentence

OKLAHOMA CITY – Blaine Dyer, 42, of Oklahoma City, and James Dyer, 39, of Edmond, have been sentenced to a total of 78 months in federal prison for their involvement in a scheme to defraud Continental Resources (CLR), an Oklahoma based oil and gas exploration company, announced U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.

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On December 19, 2022, a federal grand jury indicted Blaine and James on eleven counts, including conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and six counts of honest services wire fraud in Oklahoma. Blaine was also charged with three counts of making false statements on a promissory note. The indictment revealed that Blaine, an attorney specializing in oil and gas title opinions, and his cousin James, a landman, conspired to exploit insider information from CLR to purchase leases intended for CLR’s acquisition.

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In November 2013, the Dyers obtained CLR’s confidential drilling and leasing plans from an insider. Using this information, James negotiated with landowners across Oklahoma to acquire the leases. To cover their tracks, Blaine, James, and their associates created shell companies to handle these transactions.

In 2014, Blaine, James, and others sold some of these leases back to CLR and continued to receive royalty payments through their shell companies until 2020.

Both Blaine and James pleaded guilty in February 2023 to conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud. Blaine admitted to using CLR’s stolen information for personal gain and accepting royalties. James admitted to similar charges the day before.

On May 30, 2024, U.S. District Judge Jodi W. Dishman sentenced Blaine to 60 months in prison and two years of supervised release. James received an 18-month prison sentence followed by one year of supervised release. The Court ordered them to pay $2,316,185.43 in restitution to CLR and to forfeit a combined total of over $1.8 million to the United States. Blaine must surrender within 30 days, and James within 60 days to begin their sentences.

“The defendants’ greed led to a sophisticated scheme to exploit insider information and defraud Continental Resources for personal gain,” said U.S. Attorney Troester. “These significant sentences serve as a warning to those who consider defrauding Oklahoma businesses. I commend the FBI’s investigation and the prosecution team for their diligent work in uncovering this scheme and ensuring justice.”

The FBI conducted the investigation, with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julia Barry and Brandon Hale prosecuting the case.

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