3 Men Guilty of Federal Fraud Charges for Defrauding Shaw Air Force Base

Three Men Plead Guilty to Federal Fraud Charges for Defrauding Shaw Air Force

federal fraud chargesOn Wednesday, October 1st, three men who had construction contracts with Shaw Air Force Base pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges that they committed contractor fraud.

James Autry “Audi” Clemens, 60, of Johnston; Larry Baker, 64, of Cameron; and Steven Crandall, 59, of Salisbury, N.C., pleaded guilty to charges of theft of government funds, and one count of money laundering, in connection with the fraud scheme.

Reportedly, the men inflated the costs of construction materials and projects on invoices, and claimed they needed more workers and time to complete the buildings. Then, they split the fraudulent profits among themselves.

Baker and Crandall face 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for their federal fraud charges. Clemens, who also pleaded guilty to money laundering, faces 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

“Mr. Clemens guilty plea is significant in sending a message that while fraud involving government contracts may be initially lucrative, nothing lasts forever and the consequences are serious. We and our law enforcement partners will work continuously to uncover this type of criminal activity.” said Thomas J. Holloman III, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation.

Federal Fraud Charges and RICO Investigations

RICO charges involve the operation of an illegal business or enterprise, including a fraudulent scams, for an individual or entity’s personal profit. RICO cases are complex criminal cases.  They involve serious criminal charges and life altering potential consequences. The federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and similar state racketeering laws give the government a tremendous amount of power to go after those accused of racketeering.

The RICO act is broad and covers a variety of white collar crimes including:

The consequences for a RICO conviction are harsh.  Possible penalties may include:

  • Prison time (up to twenty years for each violation)
  • Mandatory probation/parole/house arrest/counseling
  • Loss of certain constitutional rights
  • Forfeiture of assets
  • Large fines
  • Restitution paid to victims

However, RICO charges are not the only federal charges that involve fraud. Other possible federal fraud charges include:

  • Fraudulent insurance claims
  • Bond issuances and investment schemes
  • Falsifying loan applications
  • Check fraud schemes
  • Bribes or kickbacks
  • False advertising or misrepresentation in sales transactions
  • making a false statement to a loan officer or bank official
  • deceiving a bank
  • falsifying loan documents
  • check fraud
  • forging check signatures
  • ATM fraud

The Strom Law Firm Can Help Defend Federal Fraud Charges

The law broadly defines wire fraud as devising or intending to devise a scheme to defraud others of money or property under false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises by means of electronic communications, or “wires.” Because they typically involve interstate matters, most wire fraud cases are considered federal crimes with convictions carrying heavy fines, prison sentences of up to 20 years, or both.

If you, your loved one, or your corporation has been contacted by a law enforcement officer about federal fraud charges, you should contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC immediately. The Strom Law Firm offers free, confidential consultations so you can discuss the facts of your case with impunity. Contact us today.803.252.4800

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