Oil Venture Fraudster Cuts Last-Second Deal With Feds


The intrigue deepened with Sterritt’s company, Le Cle Minerals, transferring mineral rights from a West Texas ranch to Zona. The plot thickened as Sterritt, alongside James Pittman, began peddling shares in Zona, falsely promising that the i

Enter Email to View Articles

nvestments would fuel business ventures and lease acquisitions.

A Lifestyle of Luxury: Financed by Fraud

The drama escalates as it’s revealed that the majority of the $17 million raised from around 300 unsuspecting investors funded Sterritt’s extravagant lifestyle. Prosecutors painted a picture of excess, with funds siphoned for plastic surgery, luxury vehicles, designer clothes, and lavish gifts for Sterritt’s inner circle.

Oil Venture Fraudster Cuts Last-Second Deal With Feds : The House of Cards Collapses

By November 2020, the plot unraveled. Only a fraction of the raised funds made it to Zona, with the rest lining the pockets of Sterritt and his co-conspirators, including Michael Greer. The group is accused of laundering the funds through various bank accounts, leading to a lifestyle far removed from the promises made to investors.

A Collective Fall: Co-Conspirators Plead Guilty

In a cascade of guilt, Sterritt’s associates – Greer, Pittman, Robyn Straza, Robert Magness, and Mark Ross – have all admitted their roles in this elaborate scheme, with Ross already facing the music with a six-month prison sentence.

Oil Venture Fraudster Cuts Last-Second Deal With Feds : The OrgHarvest Maneuver

In a plot twist, Sterritt’s machinations extended to the stock market. He is accused of manipulating the share price of OrgHarvest Inc. and attempting a similar ploy with ERF Wireless, selling shares at inflated prices through an individual he believed was a stock promoter.

Legal Eagles: The Defense and Prosecution

Representing the government is a formidable team from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, while Sterritt’s legal defense lies in the hands of Sahli Law PLLC and the Law Office of Jacob Mitchell.