Federal Prison Sentences Handed Down to San Antonio Businessmen for Roles in $133 Million Real Dollar Loss Fraud and Tax Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 21, 2014|
In San Antonio today, United States Chief District Judge Fred Biery handed down prison sentences to three 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.
John Bean, owner of Synergy Personnel, a Professional Employer Organization (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, was sentenced to six years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay more than $120 million in restitution after pleading guilty to a money laundering charge and a mail fraud conspiracy charge in March 2013.
Pat Mire, owner and manager of several San Antonio-based PEOs, including Service Professionals, was sentenced to three years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $10 million in restitution after pleading guilty to a money laundering charge and a mail fraud conspiracy charge in November 2011.
Mike Solis, an executive assistant at several San Antonio based PEOs, including Service Professionals, was sentenced to two years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to a mail fraud conspiracy charge in December 2012.
A fourth defendant, John D. Walker, II, owner and manager of several San Antonio-based PEOs, including AK of Nevada Inc., United Focus Inc. and Safe Staff Inc., was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to pay $450,000 restitution after pleading guilty to a Klein tax fraud conspiracy charge and a false statements charge in May 2012.
“This was a multi-faceted fraud scheme that victimized companies who relied on the defendants for payroll services, honest workers who relied on insurance coverage, and the taxpayers. At heart, the defendants were clever bandits who covered their tracks with layers of shell corporations and bank accounts and siphoned off monies for their own luxury. The hard work of the investigators and the prosecutor untangled their devious scheme and brought the defendants to justice,” stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman.
Today’s sentencing hearings for Larry Kimes, the manager of AccounTex Financial Services LLC, and Charles Pircher, manager of a series of PEOs based in San Antonio, including Service Professionals, were continued. This morning, Judge Biery revoked Kimes’ bond and remanded him into federal custody. Kimes, who pleaded guilty to a Klein tax fraud conspiracy charge and a mail fraud conspiracy charge last month, will be sentenced in approximately 30 days. Pircher, who pleaded guilty to the same two charges in November 2013, will be sentenced in approximately 60 days.
By pleading guilty, the defendants admitted that between 2002 and 2008, they participated in a scheme in which they stole more than $133 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’ money that should have been paid for payroll taxes and insurance premiums.
“Motivated by greed, the defendant 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 defendant who seek unjust enrichment by victimizing others,” stated Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse.
“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.
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.