Apollo man admits to defrauding Dominion Gas of nearly $1 million

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An Apollo gas well driller admitted Tuesday to falsifying his production records and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in U.S. District Court.

David L. Hilty, owner of C&D Gas, defrauded Dominion Gas to the tune of $950,000, assistant U.S. attorney Michael Comber said at the plea hearing.

Mr. Hilty, 57, drilled and operated scores of wells from 1999 through 2010, and sold the gas to Dominion, according to Mr. Comber. He ordered employees to manually change the meter readings on the wells, and change pressure and volume measures. He then billed Dominion based on the inflated production figures.

The resulting windfalls went back into C&D and were used to cover Mr. Hilty's personal expenses, Mr. Comber said. Mr. Hilty should be ordered to pay restitution, the prosecutor said.

U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak set sentencing for Jan. 7.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.

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