Los Angeles energy exec pleads guilty in $15M Ponzi scheme

June 14, 2022 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former energy company executive from Los Angeles pleaded guilty Tuesday in a $15 million scheme to defraud investors in phony business arrangements for services to oil and gas companies in North Dakota, federal prosecutors said.

Joey Stanton Dodson was chairman of Citadel Energy Partners when he began raising money from more than 50 investors he said would fund three limited partnerships, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“After inducing investors to deposit their funds, Dodson pooled the funds from the limited partnerships and conducted multiple transfers between Citadel-related accounts that helped him divert investor funds for his own benefit and conceal his actions,” the statement said.

Dodson misappropriated the money as part of the Ponzi scheme, and then used it to repay investors in an unrelated investment he operated separately, prosecutors said.

The three limited partnerships were placed into bankruptcy “and the investors suffered a total loss of their investments,” the statement said.

Dodson, 58, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced Oct. 25.