North Texas Attorney Sentenced to 20 Years for Theft in Oil Royalties Scam

Mar 30

Frisco attorney Kelly Gordon Rogers, convicted of first-degree felony theft for stealing $1.3 million from investors in fraudulent oil and gas schemes, was sentenced to 20 years in state prison on May 28 and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

The case was prosecuted in Collin County State District Court in cooperation with the Collin County District Attorney’s Office. State Securities Board Enforcement Division attorneys Dale Barron, Greta Cantwell, and Travis Iles were appointed special prosecutors. Financial Examiner Rani Sabban testified as an expert witness.

Rogers, 55, stole money from investors who purchased royalty interests in oil and gas drilling projects that, in at least two cases, turned out not to exist. The victims included Oklahoma oil and gas investor, two partners in a separate Oklahoma investment company, a neighbor of Rogers’, and a longtime acquaintance.

Rogers spent a significant part of investors’ money on his personal expenses and to try to acquire interests in unrelated projects, such as a coal mine in West Virginia.

Rogers shuffled investor funds to try to keep his scam afloat. When one investor demanded a refund of the unused portion of the money he had invested, the bank account of Rogers’ company, Land and Minerals, was virtually empty. As soon as two other investors wired money to Land and Minerals, however, Rogers diverted most of their funds to meet the investor’s demand.

Rogers has faced other allegations of fraud over the past decade.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2007 filed a civil injunction against a group of financial companies and promoters, Rogers among them, who were offering fraudulent high-yield securities offerings. Rogers consented to a final judgment and was ordered to pay disgorgement of $100,000 and a $50,000 civil penalty.

According to the State Bar of Texas, Rogers was licensed to practice law in 1986 and lists “oil and gas” as his only area of practice.