Share “Drilling scam defendants plead not guilty...”

Drilling scam defendants plead not guilty in Mont.

Associated Press Published: September 11, 2012

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Four California residents have pleaded not guilty to charges they fleeced investors who bought into a bogus oil company supposedly drilling for Bakken crude on Montana's Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Fifty-four-year-old Mike Campa, 54-year-old Suzette Gal, 22-year-old Andras Gal and 29-year-old Krisztian Gal, all of Yorba Linda, Calif., were arraigned Tuesday in Great Falls before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong.

An FBI affidavit alleges people across the country invested $673,000 in a sham drilling project promoted by the defendants.

They are charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, investment fraud by mail and investment fraud. The investment fraud charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine each.

Campa remains in custody. The Gals are out on bond.

Two other suspects have not been formally charged.