California man charged in $15M energy company fraud scheme

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California man has been charged with bilking dozens of people in a $15 million phony energy company scheme.

Joey Dodson, 55, of Indio, was arrested Friday, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

He is facing 10 federal charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering, according to an indictment unsealed Friday in a federal court in Northern California.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Dodson was chairman and managing partner of a collection of businesses he founded under the name Citadel Energy Services, LLC.

Between November 2012 and May 2015, Dodson raised $15 million from about 50 investors by promising them returns from limited partnerships that supposedly would supply fluid management services to oil and gas companies in North Dakota, according to the indictment.

But the indictment alleged that Dodson ran a Ponzi scheme where he “routinely commingled the monies between the three partnerships, which resulted in investor funds being used to pay the expenses of unrelated projects,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

Dodson also diverted more than $1 million for his own use, which included gambling, leasing his wife’s BMW and repaying former investors in unrelated schemes, the indictment alleged.

Two years ago, Dodson was ordered to pay $2.8 million to resolve similar allegations made by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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