Families fooled by fake oil well investor

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Updated: 4/26/2013 9:24 am Published: 4/25/2013 11:46 pm

The Eastern Oklahoma United States Attorney’s Office said 42-year-old Duane Davis pleaded guilty on Monday to wire fraud charges.  The charges are from the FBI. 

The investigation dates back to September of 2007 through April 2010. The U.S. attorney’s office said Davis devised a scheme to defraud three people who are from out-of-state: Joan Steiner, Larry Gabriel, and his wife, Delaney Gabriel. 

Davis told them he had mineral rights to oil wells in eastern Oklahoma.  He stole upwards of $300,000 total from the three victims. 

“We are smart people with sound judgment and Duane just fooled us all with all kinds of stories,” said Delaney Gabriel.

“It’s humiliating that we invested $150,000 and never did any kind of background check.  At one point my husband I even visited Muskogee to see the oil wells from our home in California and Duane sent us on a wild goose chase.  I finally started to make some calls to some of the names he dropped in his emotional stories.  Those people don’t even exist or they had no idea who Duane was.  I called him out on it and he apologized and admitted he gambled away some of the money we sent him and then said our friendship was so important to him and gave me this sob story, which of course I fell for and ended up giving him more money without realizing that the oil wells still did not even exist."

Now Steiner is out of money and living with her daughter because she lost her home, according to Gabriel.  The Gabriels told FOX23 News their home is in foreclosure and they are struggling to get by. 

Green said, “Scammers know how to get people to trust them and that is how they make their money.“

Davis is undergoing a pre-sentence investigation. 

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 4/26/2013 9:53 AM
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Sounds like horizontal drilling.
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