October 20, 2015

Mount Carmel Bus Company Operator Charged Federally with Fraud

WILLIAMSPORT, PA—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Robert Else, III, of Elysburg, Pennsylvania, president of King Coal Tours, a charter bus company, has been charged with fraud in connection with a government-funded public transportation program.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Else, age 65, is charged with wire fraud in a Criminal Information filed today in U.S. District Court in Williamsport. The government alleged that, as president of the charter bus company based in Kulpmont, Pennsylvania, Else submitted false annual budgets and monthly invoices for expenses to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The government agencies administer a program to provide financial assistance for public transportation for the Lower Anthracite Transportation System (LATS), a regional network, via the bus company.

The Information alleges that from 2006 and 2012, Else carried out a scheme to defraud PennDOT, DOT and Mount Carmel Borough by inflating budges and fraudulent overbilling and caused funds in the amount of $29,935 to be transmitted by wire communications to a bank account of his company in June 2012.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the total amount of the fraud could be between $150,000 and $400,000.

The government also filed a plea agreement, including payment of restitution, with the defendant which is subject to approval by the court.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Wayne P. Samuelson is assigned to prosecute the case.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statues and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is ten years’ imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not necessarily an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Martinsburg Man Convicted in Baltimore to West Virginia Heroin Trafficking Network

MARTINSBURG, WV—Clinton Dunlap, 31, of Martinsburg, was convicted of heroin trafficking in federal court, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

Dunlap was among 41 individuals charged in a 163-count heroin trafficking indictment in June 2015. The indictment disrupted a multi-state distribution network in which heroin was transported across state lines from Baltimore, Maryland into West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Dunlap pled guilty to one count of “Use of a Telephone to Facilitate the Distribution of Heroin” for which he faces up to four years in prison. He also pled guilty to one count of “Aiding and Abetting Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering” for which he faces up to five years in prison. He faces a fine of up to $500,000 on each of the two counts. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anna Krasinski and Paul Camilletti prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation led the inquiry.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.