More than 30 years after con man Coy Everett bilked 650 investors out of about $29 million, the fraud remains the single largest oil and gas investment scam in the history of Central Oklahoma.
After serving two lengthy prison terms, first for the oil and gas scheme and later after conviction on charges of theft and fraud, Everett, 58, has returned to prison for a third time.
He was convicted of embezzling money in 2011 from the town of Hominy in Osage County, where he served as public works director after his second release from prison.
Everett worked for Hominy, a town of about 3,500 people, for more than a decade before city staff discovered he had forged five or six checks for about $33,000 over a period of about a month, Hominy City Manager Tex Bayouth said.
Bayouth's predecessor hired Everett to work at the town's wastewater treatment plant soon after his release from Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy. Over a period of several years, Everett worked his way up to become the head of the community's public works department.
A regular churchgoer in Hominy, Everett was well liked at work and was open about his past run-ins with the law, Bayouth said.
“He was very intelligent — very knowledgeable,” Bayouth said. “He didn't mind sharing about his past; he was active in his church and would give his testimony about it.”
Everett, a former high school football star in Shawnee, was only 27 when his $29 million fraud was uncovered in 1981 by state securities regulators. He promised investors returns of up to 150 percent for involvement in his two companies, Freedom Energy Corp. and CSC Oil Co.
However, the companies never turned a profit and the venture evolved into a Ponzi scheme, according to newspaper archives. Everett bought only a handful of oil and gas leases and spent most of his time trying to lure in new investment money. The scam grew as Everett had to continue to bring on new investors to pay earlier backers of the fraudulent companies.