California man sentenced for fraudulent oil leases in Montana
The Associated Press - October 3, 2019 4:32 pm
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) – A California man was sentenced to federal prison after claiming he had oil leases on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in order to defraud investors of millions.
The Missoulian reported Tuesday that 63-year-old Joseph Brent Loftis was sentenced to more than 8 years on multiple counts of wire fraud and money laundering.
A judge ordered Loftis to pay $7.8 million in restitution to investors and forfeit another $1.6 million.
Prosecutors say Loftis had solicited $3 million from investors while claiming to own oil leases on a northwest Montana reservation.
Prosecutors say he also claimed oil and gas leases in Oklahoma and Texas.
Loftis was convicted by a jury in 2018, three years after indictment.
Prosecutors say they argued for 20 years imprisonment due to past prison time.