MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Morrell Bolyard says he didn't know he was being played for a fool when he leased his oil and gas rights for $100 an acre a few years back.
But now he's among more than 120 West Virginians who say they were victimized by fast-talking land men who should have offered up to $5,000 an acre.
They Preston County residents are suing Magnum Land Services and Belmont Resources LLC of Traverse City, Mich.
The case was moved from state court last week to U.S. District Court in Clarksburg.
It accuses Magnum, Belmont and about 20 employees of falsely notarizing lease agreements then transferring them to other companies.
The allegations include slander of fraud, conspiracy and official misconduct by a notary public.
Neither the companies nor their attorney immediately commented.