Appeals court upholds convictions in oil scam

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 23, 2014 at 10:58 am •  Published: July 23, 2014
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions of two men who ran an oil-and-gas drilling scheme in which investors lost millions of dollars.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found no mistakes in the handling of the cases of 51-year-old former attorney Bryan Coffman and 60-year-old Tennessee businessman Gary Moss Milby. Both men were convicted in May 2011 of multiple charges of mail, wire and securities fraud. Coffman and Milby were also ordered to forfeit $33 million in cash, cars and property.

During the trial that lasted nearly a month, prosecutors characterized the investments as operating like a pyramid scheme with payments from new investors being given in small amounts to longer-term investors with some people receiving no money at all.

Milby surfaced in the public eye when he threw his daughter a lavish Sweet 16 birthday party that was featured on MTV. The episode showed Milby presenting his daughter with a private helicopter ride, a new BMW and a shopping spree.

Coffman is serving a 25-year sentence at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. Milby is serving a 20-year sentence at the federal prison in Ashland.

Coffman and Milby alleged a variety of errors on the part of the trial court, including handing down excessively long sentences that were out-of-line with prison terms in similar cases.

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