The former vice president of a Kentucky oil and gas company and a former geologist were sentenced Thursday for defrauding hundreds of investors nationwide out of millions of dollars. Christopher Cello Smith, 50, of Prestonsburg, was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted by a federal jury of seven counts of mail fraud last July, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Smith served as vice president of Target Oil and Gas Co. in Albany from 2003 to 2008. He also was sentenced to three years supervised release and a $500 mandatory assessment. U.S. District Senior Judge Joseph M. Hood imposed a a forfeiture judgment in the amount of $3 million.
More Guilty in KY Oil and Gas Scheme
By Becca Clemons, Lexington Herald-Leader • Jul 1, 2011