Utah green activist guilty of fraud in oil leasing

March 4, 2011 05:50


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SALT LAKE CITY - A US environmental activist was convicted on Thursday of defrauding the federal government by submitting phony bids to derail an auction of oil and gas drilling rights on vast tracts of public land in Utah.

A federal court jury in Salt Lake City deliberated nearly five hours before finding Tim DeChristopher, 29, guilty of fraud and violations of the US Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act, capping a four-day trial.

He faces as much as 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000 when he returns to court June 23 for sentencing.

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