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Texas energy company owner gets prison for Ponzi scam

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The owner of a Texas energy exploration company must serve more than 13 years in federal prison and repay $3.7 million to investors who were scammed.

Prosecutors in Austin say William Risinger owned RHM Exploration and operated the company as a Ponzi scam. The 44-year-old Risinger in January pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.

Officials say Risinger from late 2010 to mid-2014 stole from investors based on bogus oil, gas and mineral ventures and used the money for his personal spending.

Risinger was free on bond when he was arrested April 25 in Las Vegas for violating terms of his release. Testimony during Friday’s sentencing indicated Risinger since November lost about $500,000 while gambling in Las Vegas.

Related: Former Southwestern Energy worker guilty of $450K theft.

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