Co-defendant in oil-drilling scam is sentenced to 20 years in prison

jkegley@herald-leader.comMay 4, 2012 

A Campbellsville man who defrauded hundreds of investors out of millions of dollars in an oil-drilling scam was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday.

Gary Milby, 58, was supposed to have been sentenced Thursday, but he fell ill before the hearing and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

U.S. District Court Judge Karen Caldwell rescheduled the sentencing for Friday. She said Milby had several stents in his heart, and vascular problems.

Friday, Caldwell sentenced Milby to 240 months in prison and ordered him and co-defendant Bryan Coffman jointly to pay full restitution in excess of $36 million, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey's office.

U.S. Marshals and the U.S. Attorney's Office will search for assets and bank accounts that can be seized to pay toward the restitution amount.

Coffman, a Lexington attorney, was sentenced to 25 years in prison Wednesday. He was accused of providing legal advice in the scheme and helping cover it up from investigators.

From 2004 through 2008, Milby and Victor Tsatskin of Canada solicited more than $36 million from about 600 investors across the United States and Canada, the release said. Milby and Tsatskin told investors a series of lies, bogus predictions and guarantees about potential profits of oil and gas well drilling programs.

Tsatskin is currently serving a prison sentence in Canada.

Last year, a jury convicted Milby and Coffman of multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and additional charges.

Victims in the case wrote letters to the court describing the impact of losing their investments, the release said. Some said the scam led to divorces, health problems, home foreclosures and the inability to fund a college education for their children.

Milby surfaced in the public eye after he used investors' money to throw his daughter a lavish birthday party that was featured on the MTV show My Super Sweet 16.

Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197Twitter: @HLPublicSafety

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