San Antonio Oilman Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison on Fraud Charges
Brian Alfaro, owner of Primera Energy, LLC, was sentenced to 121 months in federal prison on November 10, 2020, on mail fraud charges. He was charged with scheming to defraud investors in his company. In addition to his prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Fred Biery ordered that Alfaro pay almost $10 million in fines and be put on supervised release for three years after he completes his prison sentence.
Alfaro was convicted on eight counts of mail fraud on February 13, 2020. From January 2012 to June 2015, Alfaro convinced investors to put money into numerous oil and gas business ventures, including the following operations: Screaming Eagle 4H Prospect in Gonzales County, Screaming Eagle 6H Prospect in Gonzales County, and Black Hawk Horizontal Buda #1 Prospect. Investors mailed their checks to Alfaro’s company in San Antonio.
Alfaro claimed that the money would be invested in the business expenses of the oil prospects. In reality, Alfaro spent the investor money on luxury items such as a Rolex watch, a Lamborghini, Mercedes Benz, and a Porsche. He also used $100,000 of the money to buy season VIP tickets to the San Antonio Spurs.
Victims of Alfaro’s fraud included many retired or nearing retirement individuals. The following were among the victims, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
- A 76-year-old widow who was using her investment to supplement her social security. After the fraud, she was forced to go back to work.
- A couple who had saved about $100,000 over 35 years and invested their savings for their daughter with disabilities who needs long-term care
Commenting on the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Gregg Sofer stated that “Today’s ten-year prison sentence guarantees that Mr. Alfaro will not be driving his Lamborghini to his $100,000 VIP seats at the AT&T Center. Instead, he must work to pay back almost $10 million to the victims of his criminal scheme, while serving time in prison. White-collar crime undermines our economy and causes real damage to real people.”
Alfaro did not take the stand to testify in his defense during his trial in February, likely in order to avoid prosecutors questioning him on alleged prior misstatements he had given on whether or not he was current on a mortgage loan.
When Alfaro was convicted in February, his lawyer, Michael McCrum, stated that they were “extremely disappointed with the verdict,” but did not comment further.
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