Texas man charged with defrauding Chesapeake

A Texas man is awaiting trial on charges of submitting fraudulent invoices from his oil-field equipment company to Chesapeake Energy Corp. in 2009.
by Jay F. Marks Published: August 23, 2012

A Texas man is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for allegedly submitted 10 false invoices for oil-field equipment to a Chesapeake Energy Corp. subsidiary.

Wilbur Delmas Whitehead is charged with 10 counts of mail fraud in federal court in Oklahoma City.

He is set for trial in October.

The case originally was filed last year, but prosecutors cleared up some details in a superseding indictment released Wednesday.

Whitehead, 33, ran an oil-field service company in Sinton, Texas, called Whitehead Production Equipment, according to court papers. The company was retained by a Chesapeake subsidiary to build code separators.

Chesapeake declined to comment on the case.

Whitehead submitted invoices to Chesapeake Operating Inc. through a Texas-based factoring company, which provides immediate payment for accounts payable in exchange for a percentage of the bill, the indictment states.

In early 2009, Whitehead began submitting fraudulent invoices for equipment that was not ever delivered, according to the indictment. He received more than $850,000 from Chesapeake between May 2009 and November 2009.

Each of the 10 checks is charged as a single count of mail fraud.

Whitehead, who remains free on an unsecured $30,000 bond, will plead not guilty at the trial, attorney Garvin Isaacs said.

A jury already has been empaneled to hear the case, which will begin Oct. 1 with opening statements.


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by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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