- Associated Press - Saturday, December 14, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An oil company in Alaska sued a former employee, an Anchorage police officer and others alleging they embezzled more than $7 million,

ConocoPhillips lawyers filed the lawsuit in federal court Thursday against former senior drilling and wells planner Forrest Wright, his wife Amanda and his father-in-law David Benefield, Alaska Public Media reported Friday. The lawsuit also names Anchorage police Officer Nathan Keays and his wife Kelly.

Wright created fake contracting firms and submitted fraudulent invoices to steal at least $7.2 million, the lawsuit alleges.

Wright is suspected of creating two fake oil field service companies in both his father-in-law’s name and another owned by the Keays while also investing the money into a company the Wrights started in Nevada, the lawsuit said.

Court records do not yet list attorneys for the Wright relatives or the Keays couple.



Wright resigned from his position last week, officials said.

Company officials declined requests for comment about the case.

Keays was placed on paid administrative leave due to his involvement with a federal investigation and pending internal investigation, Anchorage authorities said.

A judge ordered the defendants’ financial institutions frozen Friday after ConocoPhillips lawyers said they might try to hide the money, officials said.

Wright is expected to be interviewed by the FBI on Thursday, officials said.

ConocoPhillips also filed a civil lawsuit arguing the case constitutes racketeering, which means the company would be entitled to three times the amount in claimed damages, officials said.

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