Former NOV Employee Convicted of Felony Theft by Houston Jury
August 28, 2015
HOUSTON – A jury has found former National Oilwell Varco, L.P., (NOV) employee Royce G. Binnion Jr. guilty of first-degree felony theft for a long-running scheme in which he submitted fake invoices to his employer to steal more than $1 million he either took in cash or used to buy himself an odd assortment of items ranging from a police radar gun to catfish for his pond.
Mr. Binnion was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000 by a Harris County jury in state District Judge Catherine Evans’ court. He also owes $5.3 million to former employer NOV because of a judgment that ended a state court civil suit filed against him by the company. NOV, a Houston-based publicly traded oilfield equipment supplier, fired Mr. Binnion in May 2011 after discovering the scheme he ran between 2008 and 2011.
Former prosecutor and acclaimed criminal defense attorney Chip Lewis served as the liaison for NOV with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted Mr. Binnion. Mr. Lewis, who has been on the Texas Super Lawyers list for many years, tried more than 100 cases when he was with the Harris County prosecutor’s office.
Houston attorneys John Zavitsanos, Tim Shelby and Jamie Aycock of Ahmad Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, represented NOV in the successful civil suit. More than $4 million of the money Mr. Binnion owes to NOV is in punitive damages. The civil case was National Oilwell Varco LP v. Royce G. Binnion Jr. in Harris County’s 55th District Court, case 2011-68924.
AZA is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property, and business dispute cases. AZA was named Litigation Firm of the Year by Texas Lawyer newspaper this year in the category for small law firms. AZA is recognized in Chambers USA 2015 among the best in Texas in commercial law; U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s best commercial litigation. Read more at www.azalaw.com.