4 convicted in $14 million fraud scheme

Nick Trougakos Published: February 1, 2003
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Four Oklahomans were convicted Friday in Oklahoma City federal court for their roles in a scheme to defraud investors of more than $14 million.

Jurors deliberated nearly two days before returning guilty verdicts against Robert Gerald Craft of Jones, Diane Lenore Griffith of Anadarko, Roy Mathew of Edmond and Dennis Dean Dazey of Tulsa.

The four were named in a 60-count indictment in May after a two-year investigation by the U.S. attorney's office, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Oklahoma Securities Department. It alleged the four defendants committed securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

A fifth person named in the indictment, Denise Ruth Jones of Oklahoma City, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors before the nearly three-week trial started. Jones pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Jones, along with the other four defendants, could face up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge. Craft, Griffith, Mathew and Dazey face the possibility of several other sentences for additional charges, U.S. Attorney Rob ert McCampbell said.

The indictment alleged the five-year investment scheme was carried out through Craft's Oklahoma City company, Wealth-Mart.

Prosecutors said investors visited Wealth-Mart offices for meetings and were told Craft was a Christian businessman with special knowledge of overseas investments. Investors were also told Dazey had relationships with international financial institutions, they said.

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