Jan 26

Four principals of Aspen Exploration Inc., the Dallas-based company that sold interests in fraudulent oil-and-gas programs to investors across the United States, pleaded guilty Jan. 26 in U.S. District Court in Dallas.

William Anthony "Tony" Rand of Plano and two of his sons, Gregory Keith "Greg" Rand and William Nicholas "Bill" Rand, both of Dallas, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis.

Co-defendant Joel William Petersen of Frisco also entered his guilty plea.

The sentencing hearing for the four men is scheduled for April 20. The defendants, who were indicted in 2009, attempted to raise $68 million from more than 330 investors.

Greg Rand pleaded guilty to one court of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and securities fraud. Bill Rand pleaded guilty to three counts of securities fraud. Tony Rand and Joel Petersen each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and securities fraud and one count of securities fraud.