See What Happens Larry? Oil and Gas Mineral Rights in the News.

Oklahoma Oil and Gas Mineral Owners,

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that LAWRENCE H. WOLF, a/k/a “Larry,” was arrested yesterday for defrauding banks and financial institutions around the country. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Lawrence Wolf swindled and attempted to swindle banks around the country out of millions of dollars while masquerading as an oil and gas tycoon.  Now, thanks to the dedicated work of our partners at the FBI, Wolf’s alleged scheme has finally run dry.”

A tale as old as time. A slick huckster in cowboy boots will convince a number of yield-starved investors that he has a deal for them. We saw it in "Stealing from the Rich" and "Funny Money" and we will continue to see it as long as there are mineral rights to exploit and people walking the earth (so another 73 years...?).

 Do you see what happens when you commit fraud by claiming ownership in others' mineral rights?

Do you see what happens when you commit fraud by claiming ownership in others' mineral rights?

Berlin's favorite part of the story though is that four banks lent Larry money and only the "global investment firm" actually ran title to the oil and gas properties in Wyoming that Larry was claiming ownership in. 

While Berlin has claimed in the past that some title is difficult, it is less difficult that explaining to your boss why you lent Larry millions without checking the records.

H/T to Matt Levine for the news and Special Agent Justin Rowland for putting the pieces together.

Bankers of the world, please advise Berlin if you are planning to lend on oil and gas mineral rights, royalties, or leases without running title and we can prevent you from being identified as a "Victim Firm."

More to follow,

Berlin