Florida Coffee Vendor and Sam’s Club Senior Buyer Sentenced for Four-Year Coffee-Kickback Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 02, 2012|
FORT SMITH, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Mark Hoffman, 56, of Springdale, Arkansas, and David Workman, 52, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, were sentenced today for a coffee-kickback scheme that the two participated in from 2003 to 2007. Both men received three years’ probation, a $5,000 fine, and a special assessment of $100. Hoffman’s sentence also states that the first year of his probation will be served in home detention. The sentence was imposed by Judge Robert T. Dawson in the United States District Court in Fort Smith.
United States Attorney Eldridge commented, “We will continue to prosecute those who commit fraud and abuse their positions of power to enrich themselves. When the decisions made by company employees are improperly influenced, everyone loses. With the hard work of the FBI and this office, these individuals have been held accountable, and a statement has been made that this conduct is unacceptable.”
According to court documents, David Workman owned a company named Mountain Falls Inc. in Cypress Gardens, Florida, and was a broker for the coffee company Bay Area Coffee. Mark Hoffman was a senior buyer of dry goods for Sam’s Club at its home office in Bentonville, Arkansas. From 2003 to October 2007, Hoffman solicited kickback payments from Workman in exchange for Hoffman selecting Workman’s company as a coffee supplier for Sam’s Club. Workman’s company then supplied coffee to Sam’s Club. Workman wrote monthly checks to Hoffman from the bank account of his company Mountain Falls Inc. to a shell company established by Hoffman called Moonlight Support Services. Hoffman was ordered to pay $245,800 in a forfeiture order that was entered before sentencing took place. This represents the amount of total kickback payments received by Hoffman during his capacity as buyer for Sam’s Club.
Hoffman and Workman were originally indicted on January 25, 2012. On April 5, 2012, they both pleaded guilty to a one-count information.
This case was investigated by Special Agents Scott Ledford and David Blakely of the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Candace Taylor prosecuted the case for the United States.