Second person charged in Washington Co. land fraud case
Federal prosecutors filled in some blanks in a Washington County land fraud case by charging a second person.
In August, a federal grand jury indicted Derek A. Candelore, 33, of Hempfield on five counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. The indictment says Candelore and a second person identified only as “WJR” were landmen for Penn-Star Energy of Butler County.
In an information filed Wednesday, prosecutors charged William J. Ray, 29, of Monroeville on three counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud tied to the same conspiracy. Federal prosecutors charge someone in an information, instead of seeking an indictment, when that person is cooperating with the investigation and has agreed to plead guilty.
Court records did not list an attorney for Ray.
Candelore and Ray used forged signatures and documents, fake names and fake companies to make it look like they had acquired mineral rights to multiple parcels that they then sold to Range Resources and several other businesses and investment firms, prosecutors said.
They conducted the transactions without the knowledge of the people who actually own the mineral rights, prosecutors said.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.