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Former Stabil Drill execs found guilty of fraud, to pay millions in damages

Posted at 2:02 PM, Dec 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 15:02:08-05

A Texas jury has found two Lafayette men guilty of committing fraud against Stabil Drill and that they should pay back millions of dollars in damages.

The lawsuit, filed by Superior Energy Services attorneys in April 2016 accused the longtime Stabil Drill executives of stealing from the company along with setting up sham companies.

The jury returned a verdict Thursday saying that Chris Russo and Martin LeBlanc, both of Lafayette, did not comply with the fiduciary duties to Stabil Drill. The jury found that Russo made $27.8 million as a result of his lack of compliance while Leblanc made $3.5 million.

The jury determined that Russo should pay $30 million and Leblanc $15 million for damages for failure to comply with their fiduciary duties to Stabil Drill.

The jury also find that the two committed fraud against the company determining that Russo and Leblanc pay back $40 million and $20 million respectively for those damages.

Russo and LeBlanc were also found to have misappropriated Stabil Drill’s trade secret pertaining to the design of a drill string vibrator. Scott Kerstetter, of Youngsville was also found to have caused damages for misappropriation of the company’s drill design.

The jury determined that $5.57 million would fairly compensate the company for damages received as a result of that misappropriation.

The two men were accused of setting up sham companies to rob Superior Energy Services of tens of millions of dollars over eight years. The jury found that Russo was responsible for the conduct the following companies: Triple RRR Investments LLC, Gulf Coast Wireline LLC, Longhorn Bits LLC, Prime 337 LLC, Russo Energy LLC and Russo Exploration LLC.

Leblanc was found responsible for the conduct of Shorty’s Outdoor Adventures LLC and LeBlanc Real Estate Investments LLC.