Apache Corp. Sues Eagle Ford Oil Field Services Firms for Fraud
June 23, 2014
SAN ANTONIO – The Houston-based oil and gas company Apache Corp. has filed a lawsuit in Bexar County alleging massive fraud by a group of oil field service companies operating in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Apache by Houston-based Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, is featured in a June 20 story published by the San Antonio Express-News, (subscription required) “Fraud allegations bubble up in Eagle Ford.” The story also ran in the June 22 Houston Chronicle.
“Apache has sued various parties in Bexar County District Court, claiming they’ve stolen more than $1 million through various schemes, including a ‘work ticket shell game’ where a work ticket was submitted multiple times under different invoices for payment. In addition, Apache says the services firms billed it for work never done, overstaffed projects and ‘played fast and loose’ with monies intended for subcontractors,” the story states.
AZA partners John Zavitsanos and Tim Shelby are representing Apache, which filed the lawsuit after conducting an internal audit and related investigation.
“The Eagle Ford is really hot right now, and a lot of oil field services companies are stretched to the limit,” Mr. Shelby says in the story. “But we have not seen the type of flat-out fraud that was perpetrated by the defendants in this case.”
The news story lists the lawsuit defendants as “the now-defunct Stag Energy Services LLC; James C. Mann, who worked at Stag; his estranged wife and Stag’s part-owner, Robbie L. Ward; and Chad Walker, a one-time Apache construction foreman.” The case is Apache Corporation v James Mann, et al., No. 2014-CI-06896, in Bexar County’s 407th District Court.
A different story on the case “Apache Corp. alleges fraud in Eagle Ford lawsuit” ran in the Houston Business Journal June 23.
Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, is a Houston-based law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property, and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized in Chambers USA 2014 among the best in Texas commercial law; U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s best commercial litigation firms in 2014; and Law360 as one of only 13 Texas Powerhouse law firms. National corporate counsel named AZA one of the country’s best in client service among law firms serving the Fortune 1000. Read more at www.azalaw.com.