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4 Californians charged with fraud for allegedly duping investors

Some California readers may have heard that authorities recently uncovered an alleged fake drilling project run by four people from California. Four people have been charged with federal offenses in the possible scam on an Indian reservation in another state.

According to reports, numerous individuals across the nation funded the oil project and invested more than $670,000 in the company.

So far, four people have been formally charged in connection with the alleged scam. The charges they face include investment fraud by mail, investment fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. The maximum penalty for investment fraud is two decades in prison and a fine of a quarter of a million dollars. So far, one man is in custody and three others are out on bond. Authorities have two other suspects, but neither has been charged.

Facing charges that have substantial penalties like jail time and fines can be scary. However, it's important for defendants to be prepared. In this situation, all four of the people who were charged have pleaded not guilty and will defend their innocence, which is an option for many people who are facing charges. Others may find that if the prosecution's evidence is compelling, accepting a plea deal for a lesser penalty is the best option.

No matter what you have been charged with, it's important to know your rights and know that you have options. For many people, seeking experienced legal advice is a good way to ensure that you protect your freedom as best you can.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Drilling scam defendants plead not guilty in Mont." Sept. 11, 2012

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