10-year sentence for defrauding Chesapeake Energy out of more than $4 million

A man who defrauded Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy out of more than $4.3 million was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison this week in federal court.

Justin Lane Foust of Sulphur had been convicted by an Oklahoma City federal jury in January of six counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identify theft and one count of money laundering.

Foust was a former production foreman for Chesapeake’s subsidiary Chesapeake Operating Inc. where he worked from 2002 to 2011. In July 2011, he formed Platinum Express which became a vendor of Chesapeake Operating and transported waste water to disposal facilities in the western part of the state.

Prosecutors say where things went wrong was when Foust billed the company for work he didn’t do and his scheme involved more than 1,100 fraudulent invoices. He also forced or pasted signatures of Chesapeake Opoerating production foremen on the invoices so they would be paid.

“This is an extremely serious offense….he did it over and over and over again,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica L. Perry told the court at this week’s sentencing.

Reports indicated Foust told the court he was sorry for his actions.

“I will do everything in my power to make things right again.”

His defense attorney argued for a three-year sentence but U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot felt otherwise.

“…major fraud like the fraud you committed musts have major consequences. That element of predictably is exceptionally important for the sake of deterrence.”

He not only ordered Foust to 121 months in federal prison but to pay more than $2.6 million in restitution.