40-eight year old Stephanie Rae Roqumore, an energy trader from Houston, Texas, is accused of running a $6.8 million natural gas trading scheme in order to maintain her and her sons’s middle class lifestyle.
Roqumore, a mother who liked to gamble and picked up a few tricks working in the back offices of Enron and Halliburton, established a one-woman company around the year 2000 and she’s (allegedly) been running a scheme since.
Her first years trading started off OK, but soon (circa 2002) she was borrowing credit to buy natural gas from one company (Occidental Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, Coral Energy Resources, and Hess Corp, for example) and then selling it to another company – without paying off the first company.
It seems Roqumore was desperate for credit to put her son through school (he just started college) and buy more cars (3 Lexus cars) and nice things (a time share in Florida and a house in an up-scale Texas ranch community) – and buying and selling natural gas allowed her those luxuries.
Roqumore is accused of purchasing natural gas from firms by submitting false financial statements to the companies to obtain lines of credit. She would then sell gas to counter-parties like ConocoPhillips, paying back either a fraction of the purchase price or nothing at all in some instances.
Roqumore was able to pull it off for so long because she made friends with traders while working in the back-offices at Halliburton, Dynegy, and Enron for 15 years.
And at heart she was a gambler, which has strong ties to trading.
To help keep her trading operation afloat, Roqumore pursued her gambling hobby, making frequent trips to Louisiana casinos. She scored her first “real win” of $10,000 in October 2002
Roqumore favoured slot machines…. She routinely withdrew tens of thousands of dollars from her bank accounts to gamble.