San Antonio Businessmen Sentenced to Federal Prison for Fraud and Tax Scheme Involving More Than $130 Million in Real-Dollar Losses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 15, 2014|
In San Antonio this morning, United States Chief District Judge Fred Biery handed down prison sentences to two individuals for their roles in what is believed to be the largest real-dollar loss fraud and tax related case ever prosecuted in the Western District of Texas, announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse, and IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steve McCollough.
Larry Kimes, the manager of AccounTex Financial Services LLC, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $132 million restitution after pleading guilty to a Klein tax fraud conspiracy charge and a mail fraud conspiracy charge last month.
Charles Pircher, manager of a series of Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) based in San Antonio, including service professionals, was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $132 million restitution after pleading guilty to a Klein tax fraud conspiracy charge and a mail fraud conspiracy charge in November 2013.
“The sentencing of so-called ‘white-collar’ defendants to significant terms of imprisonment such as the judge imposed in this case today should send a strong message to those who concoct fraudulent schemes—schemes that result in real losses to real people,” stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman.
In February, three other individuals who also entered guilty pleas in connection with this fraudulent scheme were sentenced to federal prison by Judge Biery. John Bean, owner of Synergy Personnel, a PEO based in San Antonio, as well as an agent, representative, officer, license holder, and accountant of several San Antonio- and Austin-based PEOs, including Service Professionals; Pat Mire, owner and manager of several San Antonio-based PEOs, including Service Professionals; and Mike Solis, an executive assistant at several San Antonio based PEOs, including Service Professionals, were sentenced to six years, three years, and three years in federal prison, respectively.
By pleading guilty, the defendants admitted that between 2002 and 2008, they participated in a scheme in which they stole more than $130 million from the clients of a series of PEOs operated by the defendants. The PEOs entered into staff leasing agreements with various client companies to manage the companies’ payroll and insurance programs. Kimes, Pircher, and the other co-conspirators diverted to their own use and benefit clients’ monies that should have been paid for payroll taxes and insurance premiums.
“The defendants involved in this, the largest-ever single criminal tax case in San Antonio’s history, knowingly violated our country’s tax laws. They chose to ignore their responsibilities and live a lavish lifestyle on money belonging to their employees and to the U.S. government. IRS special agents will continue to aggressively pursue these types of very serious tax crimes,” stated IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steve McCollough.
“Motivated by greed, the defendants perpetrated an extensive fraud scheme designed to steal money from their clients and taxpayers over a number of years. The FBI will continue to work with our partners to identify, investigate, and prosecute others, like the defendants, who seek unjust enrichment by victimizing others,” stated FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse.
This case was investigated by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service- Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Thomas J. McHugh prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.