April 29, 2015

Pipe Line Company’s Project Coordinator at Roscoe, Texas Facility Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

LUBBOCK, TX—A 55-year-old Roscoe, Texas, man appeared in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy M. Koenig and pleaded guilty to a felony offense stemming from a fraudulent invoicing scheme he ran while working at Chevron Pipe Line Company, announced, John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Gerald Allen Williams pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging one count of wire fraud. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Judge Koenig ordered that he remain on bond pending sentencing, a date for which was not set.

According to documents filed in the case, Williams worked as a Project Coordinator at Chevron Pipe Line Company’s Roscoe, Texas, facility. He was responsible for ensuring the completion of several construction and maintenance projects.

E.D. Walton Construction Company (EDW) out of Snyder, Texas, was a Chevron contractor that performed various construction and maintenance projects for Chevron.

Sometime around 2006-2007, according to plea documents filed, Williams approached EDW about a fraudulent invoicing scheme. EDW would create fictitious invoices and submit them to Chevron through the Arriba System, Chevron’s system for receiving and paying invoices. Williams would approve the fictitious invoices for payment, and the fictitious invoices would be processed for payment to EDW. Once EDW received payment for the fictitious invoices, it would pay Williams, in cash, the exact amount of the fictitious invoice. EDW did not receive any of the proceeds from the fictitious invoicing; Williams received all the proceeds. The scheme continued until approximately December 2011.

Williams admitted that he knowingly devised or intended to devise the scheme to defraud Chevron of money by means of false and fraudulent invoices. He further admitted he acted with the specific intent to deceive or cheat Chevron into thinking that EDW had completed various construction and maintenance projects for Chevron, when in fact, Williams knew EDW had not completed those projects.

The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag is in charge of the prosecution.