U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Texas
(409) 839-2538
July 20, 2015

North Carolina Man Indicted in East Texas Fraud Scheme

PLANO, TX—A 27—year-old Morganton, NC man has been indicted in connection with an oil and gas scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.

Justin Spearman was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 15, 2015 and charged with wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft. Spearman appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Don D. Bush today and will remain in federal custody pending trial. Spearman was arrested on July 6, 2015, in McKinney after he arrived in Texas to pick up a check from a victim.

According to the indictment, in June 2015, Spearman is alleged to have devised and executed a scheme to defraud another individual by filing fraudulent Assignments of Overriding Royalty Interest (ORI)s in Greeley Colorado, and attempting to do so in Cheyenne, Wyoming, that actually belonged to other persons, one of which was the owner of a royalties company located in Collin County, Texas.

If convicted, Spearman faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the wire fraud charge and two years to be served consecutively on the aggravated identity theft counts.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Eason.

A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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