North Dakota oil executive pleads guilty in fraud scheme

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A former North Dakota oilfield executive has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges for misleading shareholders about his company’s value, in a scheme that eventually forced it to go bankrupt and led to more than $886 million in losses.

Joseph Kostelecky, of Dickinson, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count each of wire fraud and securities fraud.

The 60-year-old faces up to 40 years in prison when he’s sentenced on Jan. 10.

Kostelecky served as the highest-ranking U.S. executive for Poseidon Concepts Corp., a fluid storage tank supplier based in Calgary, Alberta.

Prosecutors say he made false and misleading claims about the company’s finances in order to inflate its stock price.

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