Former Energy Executive Denies Theft
SHERIDAN, WYO. (AP) — A former Sheridan energy company executive accused of stealing more than $1 million in royalties has pleaded not guilty to seven felony charges.
53-year-old Ronald Barnes, the former senior vice president and chief financial officer at Summit Gas Resources, pleaded not guilty last week to five counts of obtaining property by false pretenses and two counts of larceny.
Prosecutors say an internal company audit found that some gas royalty funds were being wrongly allocated to a company that did not rightfully own the well interests. Barnes was allegedly the sole proprietor of the company that received the funds.
Investigators say the fraud began shortly after Barnes began working for summit in 2004 and continued until it was discovered in 2012.