News and Press Releases

Computer Printer Technician Sentenced for Defrauding Children’s of Alabama

March 14 , 2013

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced a former computer printer service technician at Children’s of Alabama to 27 months in prison for defrauding the hospital of $426,986 by charging it for printer cartridges he sold to another company, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.

U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced JOHN DAVID NICHOLS, 36, of Hueytown, on one count of wire fraud, ordering him to pay $526,943 in restitution and to serve three years of supervised release after completing the prison term. Nichols pleaded guilty to the fraud in October.

According to his plea agreement and other court documents, Nichols worked on site at Children’s of Alabama as a service technician for Tech-Optics Inc. from October 2009 through October 2011. Tech-Optics had a contract with the hospital that included providing preventive maintenance, repair and toner cartridges for printers. Nichols acknowledges that from August 2010 to October 2011, he used Tech-Optics’ computer inventory system to order toner cartridges for Children’s. The hospital paid for the cartridges, but Nichols sold them to an Alabama company, Image Craft, which bought new and used toner cartridges.

Due to Nichols’ scheme, Children’s paid $426,986 to Tech-Optics for items Nichols ordered, and then sold to Image Craft. Children’s ceased payments in December 2011, leaving a balance to Tech-Optics of $140,956, according to court documents. The judge ordered Nichols to pay restitution in those amounts to the two victims.

Between August 2010 and March 2012, Nichols sold about 6,316 items to Image Craft, according to his plea agreement. Of those items, about 4,900 were printer cartridges Nichols charged to Children’s and the remaining items included laptop computers, printers, printer parts and fax machines he had stolen from the hospital. Nichols received $234,525 from Image Craft for the equipment, according to the plea agreement.

The FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Cornelius prosecuted.






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