2-Year-Old Indictment Against Jeff Rand Unsealed

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 22, 2010 12:00 am  

When Whispers reported last September that a federal grand jury's indictment of oil and gas operator Jeffrey Scott Rand had been languishing under seal for more than a year, we had no idea that another six months would pass before it would be made public.

On March 10, Rand - formerly of North Little Rock and Hot Springs, now of Houston, Texas - was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Hot Springs. Only then could we learn the specific charges handed down almost exactly two years earlier: five counts of securities fraud and 20 counts of mail fraud.

The charges are related to the were same misrepresentations to investors and misappropriation of their dollars that alleged by the Arkansas Securities Department in a cease-and-desist order issued against Rand and his Wave Energy Inc. in December 2006.

Dozens of investors, including some from Arkansas, are also pursuing a civil case in Texas, where their pursuit of justice has been complicated by an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy forced on Wave by some of its many creditors.

Although the indictment specifically lists investments totaling a bit over $1 million, Rand's own attorney, Texas defense legend Dick DeGuerin, said in a motion that the alleged fraud exceeded $7 million.

A trial in the case has been set for April 27, but since it took two years to arraign the defendant, it doesn't seem likely a trial will commence so promptly.

Maybe Jeff will be tried in Hot Springs about the same time his father, former North Little Rock and Federal Bureau of Prisons resident W.A. "Tony" Rand, and three brothers are tried in Dallas on their own federal charges of mail, wire and securities fraud and money laundering.

Tony, Bill, Mark and Greg Rand are accused of diverting money from investors in their Dallas oil and gas company, Aspen Explorations Inc., to personal use. Their trial, originally scheduled for February, has now been rescheduled for September.



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