False Claims Act


United States ex rel. Johnson v. Shell Oil Co.


9:96CV66 (E.D. Texas)

Case Summary

The largest landowner in the United States is the United States itself. Some of this land is rich in oil and gas reserves. The United States agrees to lease the land for collection of these valuable deposits to oil companies who in turn agree to pay a royalty of approximately 18% of the value of the oil and gas removed.

Petroleum engineers, Benjamin Johnson and John Martineck, discovered a conspiracy by several major oil companies to depress the value of oil taken at the well head and thereby understate the total amount of the royalties due the United States.

We were brought in to assist Messrs. Johnson and Martineck and their counsel in a qui tam case brought against dozens of oil companies in Lufkin, Texas. The suit resulted in the taxpayers recovering payments exceeding $450 million from the oil companies.