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Success Vending Group, Inc. / National Vending Consultants, Inc. (US v. Patrick Abeyta, Jr., Paul Bourassa, Gary Van Havermaet, and Gary Taylor)


Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (CLOSED)

Most recent update 3/26/09 (See end of document)

U.S. v. Gary Taylor, Case No. 2:06-cr-047-LDG-LRL

U.S. v. Patrick Abeyta, Jr., Paul Bourassa, and Gary Van Havermaet, Case No. 2:06-cr-393-KJD-LRL

3/20/06 Update:

On March 15, 2006, Gary Taylor pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with Success Vending. Taylor is currently in federal prison. Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced on June 30, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. by United States District Judge Lloyd D. George, Courtroom 6B, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

The investigation is ongoing.

7/21/06 Update:

Gary Taylor's sentencing hearing has been rescheduled until September 29, 2006, at 9:00 a.m., before United States District Judge Lloyd D. George, Courtroom 6B, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

The investigation is ongoing.

12/11/06 Update:

Gary Taylor's sentencing hearing has been rescheduled for January 17, 2007, at 9:00 a.m., before United States District Judge Lloyd D. George, Courtroom 6B, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

12/14/06 Update:

On December 12, 2006, the federal grand jury in Las Vegas indicted three individuals on various fraud-related charges in connection with Success Vending Group, Inc. ("Success"), and National Vending Consultants, Inc. ("National").

• Patrick Abeyta, Jr., was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud. The indictment alleges that Abeyta was the owner and operator of National and Success, prepared the scripts used by National and Success sales representatives, prepared the sales packet that was sent to prospective customers, spoke directly to prospective customers while trying to make sales, and pretended to be a "locator" for an independent company and told prospective customers that he would find locations for their vending machines.

• Paul Bourassa was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud. The indictment alleges that Bourassa was a sales representative for Success who, using the alias "Paul Collins," pretended to be a "locator" for an independent company and told prospective customers that he would find locations for their vending machines, and who, using the alias "Richard Bourassa," also posed as a "reference" and told prospective customers that he was a successful Success customer

• Gary Van Havermaet was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of making a false declaration to the grand jury. The indictment alleges that Van Havermaet was a sales representative for Success.

The defendants are scheduled to make an initial appearance in court on December 21, 2006, at 8:30 a.m. before United States Magistrate Judge Robert J. Johnston.

Charges contained in the indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty it is to determine guilt or innocence.

The press release announcing this indictment may be seen at USAO Press Release, 12/12/06.

07/05/07 Update:

Gary Taylor's sentencing is currently scheduled for August 10, 2007, at 9:00 a.m. before United States District Court Judge Lloyd D. George, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

The trial of Patrick Abeyta, Jr., Paul Bourassa, and Gary Van Havermaet is currently scheduled to begin on November 19, 2007, at 9:00 a.m. before United States District Court Judge Kent J. Dawson, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

10/31/07 Update:

On October 30, 2007, Judge Kent J. Dawson rescheduled the trial of Patrick Abeyta, Jr., Paul Bourassa, and Gary Van Havermaet for April 21, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. in United States District Court, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

12/4/07 Update:

Gary Taylor's sentencing has been rescheduled for May 16, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. before United States District Court Judge Lloyd D. George, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

1/29/08 Update:

On January 16, 2008, Paul Bourassa pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Bourassa worked for Success Vending, where on some sales he was the salesman, on other sales he used an alias and pretended to be a "locator" who promised to come to the customer's area to locate their vending machines, and on other sales used another alias and acted like a satisfied customer. Bourassa is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:00 a.m. on May 15, 2008, before United States District Court Judge Kent J. Dawson, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

Gary Taylor's sentencing has been rescheduled for 9:00 a.m. on May 21, 2008, before United States District Court Judge Lloyd D. George, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

Patrick Abeyta, Jr., and Gary Van Havermaet remain scheduled to stand trial at 9:00 a.m. on April 21, 2008, before United States District Court Judge Kent J. Dawson, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

4/8/08 Update:

A change of plea hearing for Gary Van Havermaet is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on April 15, 2008, before United States District Court Judge Kent J. Dawson, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

Patrick Abeyta, Jr., remains scheduled to stand trial before Judge Dawson, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on April 21, 2008.

Paul Bourassa's sentencing hearing has been rescheduled for 9:00 a.m. on May 22, 2008, before Judge Dawson.

4/15/08 Update:

On April 15, 2008, Gary Van Havermaet pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Van Havermaet was a salesman at Success Vending. Van Havermaet is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:00 a.m. on July 16, 2008, before United States District Court Judge Kent J. Dawson, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada.

Patrick Abeyta, Jr., remains scheduled to stand trial before Judge Dawson, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on April 21, 2008.

4/25/08 Update:

On April 21, 2008, the morning that trial was scheduled to begin, Patrick Abeyta, Jr., pled guilty to all of the charges against him: one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud. Abeyta was the owner and operator of Success Vending, and before that National Vending. Abeyta is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:00 a.m. on July 23, 2008, before United States District Court Judge Kent J. Dawson, 333 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada. The court denied the government's request to detain Abeyta pending sentencing.

7/31/08 Update:

On July 24, 2008, Gary Taylor was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison (20 months) and ordered to pay $529,353 in restitution. Taylor was a phony reference for Success Vending who also worked occasionally as a salesman. Taylor was ordered to report to prison on August 22, 2008.

On July 30, 2008, Gary Van Havermaet was sentenced to two years and three months in prison (27 months) and ordered to pay $233,830 in restitution. Van Havermaet was a sales representative at Success Vending. Van Havermaet was ordered to report to prison on October 31, 2008.

On July 30, 2008, Paul Bourassa was sentenced to two years and nine months (33 months) in prison and ordered to pay $234,355 in restitution. Bourassa was a sales representative at Success Vending who also posed as a locator (using the name "Paul Collins"), a reference (using the name "Richard Bourassa"), and as a customer during training sessions in Las Vegas. Bourassa is in custody.

Patrick Abeyta, Jr., the owner and operator of Success Vending and, before it, National Vending, also was scheduled to be sentenced on July 30, 2008, and was facing a lengthy prison sentence under the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Abeyta died at his home in New Mexico on July 21, 2008. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

There is no parole in the federal system and the maximum reduction of a prison sentence for good behavior is 15 percent.

Under federal law, it is mandatory for a defendant to pay restitution when there is a loss to the victim and restitution is ordered without regard to the defendant’s ability to pay the restitution. As a practical matter, a defendant who has no money or potential to make money in the future may be unlikely to ever make meaningful restitution to the victims of a crime.

To date, the government has been unable to identify any significant assets of Bourassa, Taylor, or Van Havermaet that could be used to pay restitution. Because Abeyta died before being sentenced, there is no possibility of restitution from Abeyta as part of the criminal process. As part of a separate civil case, the Federal Trade Commission secured a $9 million judgment against Abeyta and other defendants and has collected and distributed to victims a modest amount of restitution.

A press release about these developments can be found at USAO Press Release, 7/30/08.

9/16/08 Update:

On August 15, 2008, Gary Taylor filed notice that he intends to appeal his conviction and sentence.

3/27/09 Update:

On February 23, 2009, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of Gary Taylor. Gary Taylor, Paul Bourassa, and Gary Van Havermaet are all currently serving their prison sentences.