Jury Finds Sapulpa Businessman Guilty of Mail Fraud, Money Laundering, and Bankruptcy Fraud
TULSA, OK—Following a five-day jury trial, a Sapulpa businessman was convicted for mail fraud, money laundering, and bankruptcy fraud resulting in a $133,500 loss to the Frank and Barbara Broyles Legacy Foundation, a charitable organization and affiliate of the University of Arkansas Foundation. Frank Broyles is the noted former athletic director and football coach of the University of Arkansas.
United States Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. of the Northern District of Oklahoma; Special Agent in Charge Scott Cruse of the FBI’s Oklahoma City Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Damon Rowe of the IRS-Criminal Investigations Dallas division made the announcement.
Kelly Verd Nichols, 47, was charged by a superseding indictment on September 10, 2015, with two-counts of mail fraud; four-counts of unlawful monetary transactions and money laundering; and four-counts of bankruptcy fraud. At the time of the crimes, Nichols and his wife owned International Marketing Consultants, LLC, and International Marketing Consultants, Inc.
United States District Chief Judge Gregory K. Frizzell presided over the jury trial and will sentence Nichols on March 8, 2016.
According to evidence presented at trial, in 2007, Nichols convinced the Broyles Foundation that International Marketing Consultants could produce a booklet developed by Frank Broyles entitled “Coach Broyles’ Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers,” commonly referred to as “the Playbook.”
From 2007 to 2009, the Broyles Foundation ordered and paid for approximately 1,100,000 copies of the Playbook which was distributed nationally. In 2009, an additional 500,000 copies were ordered and distributed.
The jury found that in May 2010, Nichols submitted a fraudulent invoice for shipping of the Playbooks to the Broyles Foundation when in fact the Playbooks were not printed or shipped as Nichols claimed. As a result, the Broyles Foundation and UofA Foundation sent payment to Nichols totaling $133,500.
At the time of sentencing, Nichols faces up to 20 years in prison. As part of his sentence, a criminal forfeiture money judgment will be entered in the amount of $133,500 representing proceeds obtained as a result of the mail fraud scheme.
The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS-CI; and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin C. Leitch, Clemon D. Ashley, and Catherine Depew on behalf of the United States.