Oklahoma Oil Overlord Gets Slap On Wrist For Lying To FBI

It’s pretty well-known by now that the oil oligarchy (the Oilgarchy? coined it, we’re keeping it) can get away with damn near anything in Oklahoma. After all, we’ve had state-mandated prayer sessions to ensure that the crude made of millions-of-years-old dead creatures will pour from the land like a geyser of plenty. So if a local energy man decides to do some fraud, what’s the big deal, eh?

Check out this poorly-reported story from The Oklahoman:

A longtime Oklahoma City oilman known for helping others was fined $100,000 Monday for making a false statement to the FBI.

Let’s just stop right here and look at the first sentence of the article. Before Nolan Clay, a longtime reporter, mentions a provable statement, we are known that the oilman was “known for helping others.” Apparently, helping others meant lying to the FBI about your pals insider trading:

John Kenneth “Ken” Davidson, 68, was sentenced in Oklahoma City federal court for lying in 2018 to an FBI agent investigating insider trading.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot chose the punishment, sparing Davidson from any time in prison. The judge instead put Davidson on probation for two years and ordered him to complete 104 hours of community service.

The judge said he took into consideration the unsung generosity Davidson has shown others. The judge said he was satisfied “this ugly chapter” in Davidson’s life is a fairly isolated chapter.

The judge said, though, he was imposing a substantial fine that was due immediately. “Lying to the FBI must carry some sting,” Friot said.

That sound you just heard was every local oil overlord opening their checkbook to donate to their favorite charity so they’ll get a sweet deal whenever they’re convicted of some white collar’ish crime in the future. It’s nice to see trickle down economics finally work!

The article goes on to describe more of the details of the deal that got Davidson busted, but it also doesn’t include any information about why he was “known for helping others” or his “unsung generosity.” Does he tip $10 to his caddie at Oak Tree? Does he make sure his house cleaners get a nice tin of popcorn at Christmas? What exactly does John Kenneth “Ken” Davidson do to help out other people???

Sadly, after a 5-page-deep Google search (I’m not paid Nolan Clay investigative reporter money), not much came up. Propublica shows that he has a charitable foundation that made $3 between 2013-25. I give more money each month to homeless people needing bus fare. Hell, I bum out like eight bucks worth of cigarettes to strangers at the bar every month. Will that convince a judge not to lock me away if I find myself LYING TO THE FBI?

Anyway, this whole story stinks of a bad judicial system and bad reporting. If Davidson was such a great guy, why is it so difficult to find out what he’s been helpful at? Why is the Oklahoman not doing their due diligence, and instead giving Davidson the benefit of the doubt? And why is our legal system tipped to let rip-off artist old white men get away with whatever they want?

Hopefully, a real reporter will come around and dig up some answers on all of this. Until then, I will continue to be angry about the ‘good ol’ boy’ system, and I’ll be back next week with ‘5 Funny Farts I Heard At City Council.’

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20 Responses


  1. How about an Ogle-archy?


  2. That seems pretty steep to me. Lied once and got a $100k fine. Andy McCabe lied 4 times, and never even got charged with a crime.


    1. He just lost his pension. No big deal.


  3. Oklahoma. Imagine That.

    (though I doubt this is what they have in mind, it really does fit)


  4. What a lovely and flattering editorial describing the terrible treatment of such an upstanding citizen. Too bad it was posted in the business news section…


  5. Is anyone surprised by this?


  6. Bitter and angry is no way to go through life. Enjoy your smoke break, Lucas.


    1. +1 I look at smoking as nature taking its course and weeding out the undesirables.


  7. In all fairness a look at his record as to how he metes out punishment for similar crimes to non connected felons. Not sure what that would be, that would be something the media should be doing, but of course are not.

    On the surface this does look like yet more from the playbook of the Oklahoma Standard. Yes “there was a sting of a fine.” However he did profit from insider trading, which he appears to have to pay back, or pay back the amount they could prove. Perhaps there were more trades, and it looks like old Ken might be a little challenged in the moral and ethical category. He did share the insider knowledge with a neighbor, but who knows how many more he shared it with. I guess sharing insider knowledge on a stock deal for profit is one of the things might be what makes him a “good guy.”

    The Oklahoma Standard dictates protection of the Oil Overlords be protected, as without them Oklahoma would have nothing and there would be no graft and corruption for the elected officials. Move along, nothing to see here.


  8. Lol dude made only $19k off that neighborly tip and already paid sec $42k plus this new $100k fine. His friend, John Special, truly lived up to his last name by paying SEC over $3m for Ken’s “helpful” tip. I don’t think “helping” means what Ken think it means.


    1. This! Davidson contributes huge amounts to local charities, over 100k for a north central program providing healthy steps checkups for children. He should’ve known better than to mention a tip to John “hit that log with my boat at grand lake, oh but fly me to OKC to get the stitches in my face from the impact, what, that was a boat not a log and somebody died” Special. How that dude hasn’t been toBig MAC is the question. But not to worry, Specials kids are arrested far more often and someday daddy will run out of money before someone ELSE dies.


      1. wow, what a character. ended up being fined $50 for leaving the scene of an accident:

        https://www.grandlakenews.com/article/20091229/VIDEO/312299870


        1. The only error in the article is the flying to Stillwater. Witnesses told OHP he was flying to his home in Stillwater. They were waiting for him at Stillwater, so he flew to OKC to get sewn up and OHP didn’t locate him until the next day which ruined any chance of a blood alcohol test. He’s a slippery devil that Johnny Special.


        2. I’m curious how far that incident took place from where our good Senator from the East almost burned down an entire town burning his trash outdoors when Oklahomans were going to jail for burning trash in the middle of the worst drought in forever.


  9. Insider trading is still a felony. Dude can’t vote or own a gun. Had to pay back $142K. Most importantly, he can’t be a fiduciary for a publicly traded company or company that takes certain institutional money, so he can’t take any new / probably lost his existing sinecure type board of directors deals and his career is effectively over.

    Insider trading is generally a crime without jail time unless you get involved with real money. It’s not great, but this was a relatively harsh offense. Most of the big ones are settled with no admission of guilt.


  10. Yeah, I remember GWB’s trial for inside trading when he was a board member of an TX oil company going bankrupt.

    Oops, sorry, I forgot, there was no trial… Poppy Bush squashed SEC investigation.


  11. “After learning of the impending merger, Davidson told a friend, John Special, who also traded on the insider information, the SEC said. Special, a Stillwater oilman, agreed in November to pay almost $3 million to the SEC to resolve an insider trading complaint.”

    A blast from the past about Mr. Special:

    https://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_news/judge-acquits-man-of-negligent-homicide-in-boating-accident/article_112f7d95-a0a2-5ae9-a062-e6ab55ac9cab.html

    Why would Mr. Special have sought medical attention in Stillwater instead of locally, near Grand Lake? Inquiring minds want to know!


    1. Blood alcohol level? Publicity (lack of)? Just spitballing here. 😉


    2. You could just read Fred’s explanation to answer your question he’s already answered…it’s only three comments back from yours. Jeesh.


      1. Directed to Graychin.

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