Grand jury indicts Pa. man over drilling leases

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pittsburgh grand jury has indicted a man on mail and wire fraud charges related to natural gas drilling leases.

Prosecutors say in a Tuesday release that 33-year-old Derek A. Candelore of Jeannette worked as a landman, trying to get mineral rights owners to sign gas drilling leases.

Authorities allege that Candelore used forged signatures, fake companies and forged notary signatures and stamps to acquire mineral rights to four separate blocks of land in Washington County, south of Pittsburgh. The alleged frauds began in 2010 and ended in June, 2012. Candelore also allegedly used the fake names of Dan Kun and Kevin Kelly.

The indictment seeks the forfeiture of nearly $1.2 million in proceeds and could result in prison time and fines.

Candelore couldn’t be reached for comment.

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