Five Defendants Convicted in Western Pipeline Securities Cases Receive Federal Prison Sentences and are Ordered to Pay Millions in Restitution
More Than 200 Investors Lost Money in the $53 Million Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 26, 2012|
DALLAS—Mickey Glen Horn, 45, of Prosper, Texas, was sentenced late yesterday by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to 40 months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $1.9 million in restitution, following his guilty plea in May 2010 to one count of securities fraud stemming from his involvement in Western Pipeline Corporation securities offerings. Judge Boyle ordered that Horn surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on November 28, 2012. Horn is the fifth and final defendant to be sentenced for his role in the more than $53 million Western Pipeline securities fraud scheme in which more than 200 investors lost money; many lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Other defendants convicted and sentenced in the case are:
Christopher Scott Jent, of Dallas. Jent pleaded guilty in June 2009 to one count of securities fraud and was sentenced by Judge Boyle on October 11, 2012, to the statutory maximum of five years in federal prison and ordered to pay approximately $53 million in restitution. Following sentencing, Judge Boyle remanded Jent into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
John Arthur Apple, Jr., 53, of Lewisville, Texas. Apple pleaded guilty in January 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud. He was sentenced on April 16, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay, to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $53 million in restitution.
Clifford Duane Stahl, of Carrollton, Texas. Stahl pleaded guilty in November 2009 to one count of securities fraud and was sentenced on March 7, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn, to 48 months in prison and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution.
James Timothy (J.T.) Nealy, 60, of Irving, Texas. Nealy pleaded guilty in September 2010 to one count of conspiring to commit securities fraud and wire fraud and was sentenced on April 6, 2012, by Judge Lynn, to 48 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $53 million in restitution.
According to documents filed in the case, from October 2006 to July 2007, Apple was the majority owner of Western Pipeline, and through Western Pipeline, he raised money from investors by selling and causing others—including co-conspirators Jent, Apple, Stahl, and Nealy—to sell investments in purported oil and gas development projects. Apple and his co-conspirators misled, deceived, and defrauded prospective investors by misrepresenting and failing to disclose material facts. As part of their roles, the co-conspirators assumed false identities when communicating with prospective investors and, in the guise of those false identities, claimed to be investors in past Western Pipeline oil and gas development projects that supposedly had been successful.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
U.S. Attorney Saldaña praised the investigative work of the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in bringing these cases. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan M. Buie was in charge of the prosecutions.