Minnesota men learning fate for North Dakota stock scheme

A Minnesota man who helped found a business in North Dakota's oil patch has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud in a stock manipulation scheme. His co-defendant will learn his fate later this week.

Ryan Gilbertson, 42, on Dec. 11 also was fined $2 million and ordered to pay more than $15 million in restitution during his sentencing in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, during which U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz called the scheme an act "of almost pure, unalloyed, unfathomable greed."

Gilbertson co-founded Wayzata-based Dakota Plains Holdings, which owned a North Dakota facility that loaded oil onto rail cars. Gilbertson manipulated the company's stock after it went public in 2012 in a complex scheme that netted him and co-defendant Douglas Hoskins millions, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

"He executed his scheme over many years at the detriment of the company, which is now bankrupt, its shareholders and the trading public," U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald said in a statement . "He did not care about how his actions may impact others — he only cared about lining his own pockets."

A spokesman for Gilbertson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he plans to appeal. Hoskins, 50, whom authorities said pocketed much less money through the scheme than did Gilbertson but lied under oath to the Securities and Exchange Commission, is to be sentenced Friday by Schiltz.

Dakota Plains filed for bankruptcy in December 2016.