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Former Gas Trader Gets Six Years for Swindle

Former Houston gas trader Stephanie Roqumore was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Houston to six years in federal prison without parole for defrauding numerous natural gas trading companies of nearly $8 million.

In February Roqumore, 48, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, admitting that from March 2002 through April 2010 she used fraudulent financial statements to defraud 12 companies: Virginia Power Energy Marketing Inc., Coral Energy Resources LP, Occidental Energy Marketing Inc., Entergy-Koch Trading LP, Cargill Inc., Hess Corp., Natural Fuel Resources Inc., Proliance Energy LLC, Southwest Energy LP, Adams Resource Marketing Ltd., Allegheny Energy and CMS Resource Energy Management Co. (see Daily GPI, Feb. 8; Sept. 15, 2010).

U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes ordered Roqumore to pay $7.8 million in restitution to the victim companies. She will remain on bond pending issuance of an order to surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility where she will serve her sentence.

Roqumore fraudulently obtained about $7.9 million in natural gas on credit from the 12 energy companies from March 2002 through April 2010. She never paid for the gas.

Roqumore admitted that as the sole employee, owner and operator of three gas trading companies -- SRR Energy Management Resources Inc., doing business as Gas Energy Management Inc. (GEM), Gas American Resources Inc. (GAR) and Resource American Energy (RAE) -- she contacted gas trading companies all over the country requesting to trade natural gas with them.

If the company was interested in trading, Roqumore and the company entered into a contract, after which Roqumore would request a line of credit from the trading company in order to purchase gas from them. The companies required financial statements from Roqumore for whichever of her three companies she was using at the time. Statements provided by Roqumore to obtain the lines of credit were intentionally falsified by her to make her companies (GEM, GAR and RAE) appear to be more profitable and worth far more than they actually were.

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