Ponzi Pitchman Pleads Guilty To Alleged Role In Massive Oil-And-Gas Swindle; ‘We Will Be Relentless In Our Pursuit’ Of Scammers, Top Federal Prosecutor Says

A Dallas man accused of fleecing investors in oil-and-gas schemes that gathered $535 million in Texas and Michigan has pleaded guilty to his role in the alleged schemes.

“Investment fraud is, at its core, a betrayal of trust by one person to another,” said U.S. Attorney John M. Bales of the Eastern District of Texas.  “We will be relentless in our pursuit of those individuals responsible for abusing the trust of others in order to obtain criminal profits.”

Joseph Blimline, 35, was accused of making “materially false representations” and failing to disclose material facts as a representative of Provident Royalties, which was implicated in a securities swindle by the SEC.

Blimline, who faces up to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy,  previously had been charged with securities fraud by the state of Michigan, prosecutors said.

Provident was accused by the SEC in July 2009 of orchestrating a $485 million offering fraud involving more than 7,700 investors. Blimline was accused of orchestrating a separate fraud in Michigan that involved $50 million.

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