A Michigan man, who authorities say bilked Utah investors out of more than $160,000 when they bought stock for a fictitious oil and gas production project, has been charged with 18 counts of stock fraud by the Utah attorney's general office.

Daniel James Myers, Brighton, Mich., was charged Wednesday with failing to pay investors money generated from oil wells in the so-called "Knob Lick Project," a fake oil and gas production project that allegedly included 3,000 acres of leased land in Barren and Metcalfe counties in Kentucky.According to Michael E. Hines, a criminal investigator for the Utah attorney general's office, Myers failed to use investors' money to connect the alleged wells to lines for transportation of the oil and gas.

Myers is also charged with 18 felony counts for selling unregistered securities, eight felony counts for employing unregistered agents and one count of tax evasion, a third-degree felony, for failing to file tax returns from 1982 through 1990, according to the charges filed in 3rd Circuit Court.

Myers operated Eagle Oil and Gas Inc. in Brighton, Mich., and maintained offices in Salt Lake City, where the unregistered agents in 1986 convinced 18 investors to pay between $7,000 and $32,000 for units of the fictitious "Knob Lick Project." Each 3 1/2 percent of the units had a price tag of $7,000.

The agents were not registered with the Utah Division of Securities to sell the illegal stock certificates or securities, as required by state law.

Court documents say from June 28 to December 30, 1986, Myers created a scheme "to defraud investors by misrepresenting the nature of the investment and the true risk involved in the investment by failing to use investors' money for the represented uses."

The charges also say Myers lied about the alleged wells, saying they were drilled, capped and producing oil and gas and that the investment was a "sure thing." The wells, however, have never been drilled.

Myers also failed to tell investors that previous clients had demanded payments and that the securities were not registered with the Michigan Corporation and Securities Bureau, nor were they exempt from registration, according to court documents.

Myers has previously been convicted of both misdemeanor and felony fraud activities. He is currently wanted in Livingston County, Mich., for failure to appear in a civil deposition. He was also convicted of misdemeanor fraudulent activities on Feb. 22, 1973 and felony larceny by conversion on Sept. 25, 1978, and in Nov. 23, 1982, in Detroit and Brighton, Mich., respectively.

The investors want their money returned and most have initiated civil litigation to recover the money they invested, Hines said.