A Dallas oil and gas businessman who dubbed himself the "Frack Master" has been charged with money laundering and fraud after regulators accused him and others of defrauding investors of about $80 million.
Federal court documents show 41-year-old Christopher Faulkner, who made appearances on cable TV to discuss oil and gas topics, was arrested Monday at Los Angeles International Airport on charges filed in Texas.
Faulkner will remain in custody pending further court hearings in Dallas.
An affidavit accuses Faulkner of an investment scheme involving sale of fractionalized working interests in oil-and-gas prospects.
He allegedly set up several oil and gas companies in Texas and used funds invested in those companies to support a lavish lifestyle.
The criminal investigation began in 2015, and the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI served search warrants and seized documents and data from Breitling Oil and Gas Inc., Crude Energy LLC and Patriot Energy Inc. in Dallas in April 2016. Also in 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Faulkner and others, which said investors were defrauded out of about $80 million.
If convicted on the charges, he could be sentenced to up to 35 years in prison and fined up to $750,000.
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A message for comment left with Faulkner's attorney wasn't immediately returned Thursday.