A retired Texas lawyer who is the former chief executive of a Houston-based oil and gas services company was charged this month in Washington with obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to federal agents during a grand jury investigation.
Federal prosecutors allege Franklin Fisher Jr., the former executive and chairman of Aztec Oil & Gas, an exploration and production company, made false and misleading statements to FBI agents in 2008 in Washington. Prosecutors on Jan. 4 lodged a one-count information against Fisher.
Charging documents do not reveal the nature of the grand jury investigation in which Fisher provided statements to federal agents. Investigators’ focused their questions of Fisher on his knowledge of promotional newsletters recommending the purchase of Aztec stock.
Prosecutors said in charging documents that Fisher concealed the extent of his and others’ involvement in the newsletters, which allegedly did not comply with securities regulations.
Fisher, 70, an independent consultant to Aztec, declined to comment this afternoon. From 2007 to February 2010, Fisher served as Aztec’s chief executive officer and chairman, court records show.
Two lawyers for Fisher, Steptoe & Johnson white-collar defense partners Reid Weingarten and Jeffrey McFadden, both of the firm’s Washington office, were not immediately reached for comment today.
The charging documents detail, among other things, Fisher’s relationship with an investment advisory services company in California that allegedly participated in the newsletters. The investment company is identified in court papers as SBI USA, based in Newport Beach, Calif. SBI, according to prosecutors, provided investment services to Aztec in exchange for shares of the oil and gas company.
The prosecutor assigned to the case, Michael Atkinson of the U.S. Attorney Office’s fraud and public corruption section, did not immediately return a call and an e-mail seeking comment.