live: Oklahoma high school football: Week 8 scores and updates2020 Oklahoma election voter guide: Everything you need to know before Election Day

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Three men accused of mineral rights, royalties diversion scam

A federal grand jury meeting in Oklahoma City indicted three men accused of diverting royalty proceeds from real people to fictitious companies, leaving them facing numerous charges.

Casey Jobe, an Edmond man who at one time was a former division order analyst at Continental Resources; Anthony Hilbers, of Edmond; and Brandon Colbert, of Oklahoma City, were indicted by the grand jury.

Jobe, who worked for Continental from late 2011 through late 2013, faces a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a charge of wire fraud, two charges of aggravated identity theft and a charge of money laundering.

Hilbers faces a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a charge of wire fraud, two charges of aggravated identity theft and a charge of money laundering.

Colbert faces a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The indictment accuses Jobe and one other unnamed co-conspirator who worked at Continental Resources until late 2015 of using their jobs researching ownership of oil and gas mineral interests related to accounts that the company suspended to divert funds to companies created by Jobe, Hilbers and Colbert.

The indictment states Continental Resources places mineral interest accounts into a suspended status whenever it lacks sufficient information necessary to make payments it owes on harvested minerals.

After making a diligent effort to locate a rightful owner, the company designates such accounts as either unclaimed or abandoned and reports that information to the state where the rights exist.

States, after receiving that information, claim proceeds of those accounts using the process of escheatment, which ensures property isn’t left in limbo without a clear owner.

States typically put those acquisitions into an unclaimed property fund.

The conspiracy charge accuses the three men of using their knowledge and access at Continental to identify specific mineral interest accounts that had significant suspended balances and could be fraudulently transferred to them with little chance of being discovered, given that the rightful owners either had died or could not be located.

That charge accuses the men of forging 15 fraudulent deeds that conveyed the mineral interests to various entities they controlled, of filing those deeds in counties where producing properties were located, and then of submitting those fraudulent deeds to Continental, causing it to wire royalty payments of $1.7 million to companies they created.

Once that money had been transferred, the charge accuses the three men of dividing up the proceeds among themselves by moving it into other accounts they controlled.

The wire fraud charge accuses Jobe and Hilbers of moving $153,448.38 from two suspended accounts at Continental Resources to JNR Energy, an entity Hilbers had created.

The aggravated identity theft charges accuse Jobe and Hilbers of forging names and signatures of various victims that are believed to have owned suspended accounts that were involved in the scheme.

The money laundering charge accuses Jobe and Hilbers of moving money from Hilbers' JNR Energy to an account created for CMJ Properties and Investments, a company Jobe created.

A spokesperson for Continental Resources said that while the company doesn't comment on pending litigation, it fully supports the charges that were filed against the three men.

Officials said an indictment leading to criminal charges is not evidence of guilt, adding that each defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial where prosecutors must prove guilt on the charges that person faces beyond a reasonable doubt.

Related Photos
[MetroCreative]

[MetroCreative]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-54ccea2491cb414034c40948a9a8acaa.jpg" alt="Photo - [MetroCreative]" title="[MetroCreative]"><figcaption>[MetroCreative]</figcaption></figure>
Jack Money

Jack Money has worked for The Oklahoman for more than 20 years. During that time, he has worked for the paper’s city, state, metro and business news desks, including serving for a while as an assistant city editor. Money has won state and regional... Read more ›

Comments