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3 Plead Guilty to Cheating Coastal

3 Plead Guilty to Cheating Coastal

Three men pleaded guilty last week in Houston to one count each of wire fraud charges related to the bilking of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Coastal Corp.

Seventeen other charges were dropped by federal prosecutors against Robert Rossi, Kyler Lunman II and Steven Soule in exchange for their guilty pleas to the wire fraud charge. The other charges were for commodity fraud, money laundering and conspiracy and were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston.

Original allegations were the three, along with an unindicted coconspirator named Tommie DeMarco, cheated Coastal out of $700,000 between December 1993 and January 1995. DeMarco was planned to be the government's star witness at a trial scheduled for this week.

The indictment said Soule began stealing trades from Coastal, working with DeMarco, a former employee of Refined Energy. Also involved in the ruse was a company called Hold Trade Inc., which was controlled by Lunman. Punishment is expected to be set May 26.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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