Feds: Pa. man laundered stolen drilling firm money

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh say an auto repair shop owner helped a former natural gas drilling company executive launder more than $762,000 allegedly stolen from the firm.

Attorneys for 57-year-old Daniel Pikel, of Home, didn’t immediately return requests for comment on the money laundering conspiracy charge.

The charge relates to thefts from Falcon Drilling, whose former controller has pleaded guilty to helping the company’s former chief operating officer steal some of the missing money. (backslash)

That woman, 43-year-old Cheryl Brooks, of Clymer, will be sentenced May 31. Prosecutors said at her guilty plea hearing they plan to indict Falcon’s former chief operating officer in connection with about $10 million in stolen funds.

According to the new charges, Pikel cashed Falcon checks written to his shop for drill bits that were never delivered, then gave the money to the executive.

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