North Texas Oilman Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Stealing Investors' Money

Jan 25

Wayne Anthony Rand of Rockwall was sentenced to 20 years in state prison on Monday after pleading guilty to an extensive oil-and-gas exploration scam in which he used millions of dollars of investors' money for personal expenses, including the purchase of a house, luxury speedboats, guns, and jewelry.

Rand was taken into custody immediately after sentencing in the 382nd state District Court in Rockwall County, Texas Securities Commissioner Denise Voigt Crawford announced today. Rand pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft of more than $200,000.

"Oil and gas ventures are inherently speculative and they tend to be unsuitable investments for traditional, smaller investors who can't afford the risk,"Commissioner Crawford said. "Regardless of the price at the pump, fraudulent energy promoters continue to capitalize both on interest in the commodity and on oil and gas as an investment alternative to the stock market."

Rand raised approximately $8 million from dozens of investors who thought they were putting money into energy exploration projects run by Rand's company, Rock Wall Oil Co., also known as Black Lake Energy Inc. Rock Wall Oil Co. failed to drill nine of the 13 wells Rand touted to investors, according to court documents.

According to bank records filed with the court, Rand used investors' money for an array of personal expenditures: He purchased a house in Rockwall, the county seat; paid $368,418 in cash for a speedboat; spent more than $70,000 on firearms, including a pair of Colt .45 commemorative Oilmen Revolvers, a Blaser K 95 rifle and a Winchester Model 70 Big Five Safari rifle; and bought numerous pieces of jewelry.

Two other men, Douglas L. Williams and Chad D. Taylor, were indicted with Rand in July 2009 for securities fraud, theft and money laundering. The cases against Williams and Taylor are pending in 382nd District Court in Rockwall County.

The Texas State Securities Board investigated the cases against Rand, Williams, and Taylor and assisted the Rockwall County District Attorney's Office in the prosecution of Wayne Rand. Securities Commissioner Crawford thanked Rockwall County DA Kenda Culpepper for her office's cooperation and assistance.