The Associated Press
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the 25-year prison sentence of the former finance chief of a West Texas oil and gas drilling company.
Jonathan Dwane Nelson had pleaded guilty to swindling $77 million from Snyder-based Patterson-UTI. But he wanted the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review his sentence, saying the length fell outside punishment guidelines.
Yesterday (Wednesday), the New Orleans-based court disagreed, saying the district court's sentence was reasonable.
Authorities allege Nelson sent the embezzled money to companies he controls, then spent it on an airplane, an airfield, a cattle ranch, homes, vehicles and a truck stop.