The owner of two Montana oil companies dodged his full natural gas royalties for roughly seven years in the northern part of the state, according to the U.S. Attorney for Montana.
Charles Jansky and his companies, Somont Oil Co., and Ferdig Oil Co., failed to pay the full amount due for gas produced on federal leases between Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2016, according to U.S. Attorney for Montana Kurt Alme’s office.
Alme’s office settled its lawsuit against the oil companies for $137,000, according to a press release issued Monday.
“Companies that extract resources from federal lands must pay what they owe,” Alme said in the press release. “We will hold accountable any company that tries to avoid its obligations.”
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Somont and Jansky “improperly treated their dealings with Ferdig as arms-length transactions,” Alme’s office said, despite their common ownership.
“The United States alleged this caused Somont to knowingly underreport its royalty obligations,” wrote Clair Howard, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Somont is located in the unincorporated community of Oilmont, 20 miles north of Shelby. It describes itself as a “small family-owned company operating primarily in Toole County, Montana.” No website for Ferdig could be found.
Both companies list Jansky’s private residence in Spring, Texas, as their business mailing address with the Secretary of State’s Office. Reached there, Jansky declined to comment.