Castle Rock businessman must pay $478K for bad dealings with oil and gas leases in Moffat County
A 49-year-old Castle Rock businessman who cheated workers, mineral rights owners, the state and Moffat County taxpayers has been ordered to pay $478,227 over the next 18 months or face a permanent felony conviction.
According to the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Shane Reeves pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 26, in Moffat County District Court to felony theft and failure to file taxes, a misdemeanor, regarding his involvement with oil and gas wells in Moffat County from 2017-21.
In a news release, the district attorney’s office described how Reeves formed the Wolverine Resources corporation in 2017 and used it to buy dozens of mineral rights leases, which had been aggregated into lease agreements common in the oil and gas industry.
However, Reeves also reportedly failed to pay royalties to the mineral rights holders from whom he leased the rights to extract and sell the oil and gas. He also failed to pay contract workers for services performed, and he didn’t file state income tax for three years.
Restitution includes $288,504 to mineral rights owners, $89,564 to former service providers in unpaid wages, $37,629 to the state in back income taxes and $62,530 to Moffat County.
After pleading guilty, Reeves was sentenced to four years of supervised probation, during which time he must pay the restitution, limit his corporate activity and involvement in the oil and gas industry, and open his financial and business records to probation officers.
If Reeves expedites payment of all restitution and is fully compliant, he can end his probation after 18 months and avoid a permanent felony conviction on his record.
“This entire operation involved only one person making money and that was Shane Reeves,” District Attorney Matt Karzen said in the release. “For the many people he employed, and the many people and entities who were owed money arising from his mineral operations in Moffat County, including the county itself, the Moffat County School District, and many private citizens, this resolution brings nearly a half million dollars in restitution, which has been the focus of this case from the beginning.”
Karzen credited the U.S. Department of Interior’s criminal investigators, the Colorado Department of Revenue and Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, for their help in the case, which the district attorney’s office described as “large and complex.”
“On behalf of the citizens of Moffat County, the district attorney’s office is extremely grateful for the committed service and skill of these partner agencies, without which this restitution would never have been recovered,” Karzen said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.