As the FBI continues to investigate allegations of an oil and gas investment
scam, three more guilty pleas have come in the investment fraud case against
Provident Royalties, Inc.. According to a press release from the FBI,
W. Mark Miller, Brendan W. Coughlin, and Henry D. Harrison have pleaded
guilty to their parts in an oil and gas investment scam that took $2.3
million from investors across the United States. All three men were executives
with Provident Royalties, and all three men are Texas residents.
According to the allegations, both Coughlin and Harrison lied to investors
about the Provident Royalties, Inc. investments and did not disclose important
information to investors about how their money would be invested. It is
alleged that Coughlin and Harrison used investor cash to pay off prior
investors, and Miller has been accused of authorizing the payments to
prior investors in order to keep the scam hidden, instead of reporting
the crime to authorities.
In addition to Miller, Coughlin, and Harrison, two other men have pleaded
guilty to charges related to the scam. Paul R. Melbye, the founder and
CEO of Provident Royalties, Inc., has pleaded guilty and is currently
facing a potential five-year prison sentence. Joseph Blimline, another
Provident Royalties principal, has already been sentenced to 20 years
in prison after pleading guilty in the case.