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Ringleader of Bakken scheme sentenced to 30 years

Published On: Jan 31 2014 07:45:23 AM MST
HELENA, Mont. -

 A judge has sentenced a California man to 30 years in prison and ordered him to repay the victims of an investment scheme into non-existent oil-and-gas projects in eastern Montana.

U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon told Yorba Linda resident Mike Campa Thursday he was imposing the lengthy sentence because Campa had spent a lifetime defrauding others and would do so again if back on the street.

Campa pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit fraud, investment fraud by mail and investment fraud by wire.

Prosecutors say he was the ringleader in a group that included his wife, her two sons and two others. The group bilked more than 50 investors out of more than $675,000 with promises of big returns for fake energy projects in the Bakken oil patch.