Former Track Supervisor at Calder and Two Others Sentenced in False Billing and Kickback Scheme
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announce that defendants Steven Cross, 53, of Hollywood, Israel Campos, 60, of Miami, and Mark Cantrell, 59, of Pembroke Pines, were sentenced today before U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch in Fort Lauderdale, on charges of conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349 (Count 1). Defendants Cross and Cantrell were also sentenced for tax evasion, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7201 (Count 3).
Steven Cross, who at the time of the offense was the track supervisor at Calder Race Course, was sentenced to 57 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,766,433 in restitution.
Israel Campos, who, through his companies Delta Supply and Maintenance Distributors, Inc., participated in the false billing and kickback scheme by providing invoices to Calder for products that were never delivered, was sentenced to 33 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,580,819 in restitution.
Mark Cantrell, who, through his companies Marquee Enterprises, Inc., and A-Jem Industries, Inc., participated in the false billing and kickback scheme by providing invoices to Calder for products that were never delivered, was sentenced to 13 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $1,185,614 in restitution.
According to the Information and documents filed with the court, from about 1992 through about March 2008, Cross was the track superintendent at Calder Race Course. As part of his duties as track supervisor, Cross ordered chemicals, such as herbicides and fungicides, which were used to maintain the race tracks and the grounds of Calder. Campos and Cantrell were in the business of selling janitorial supplies and other industrial cleaners to commercial businesses. Prior to 1998, Cross agreed to participate in a scheme with defendant Campos in which Campos would submit fraudulent invoices and delivery tickets to Calder for chemicals that would never be delivered, and that Campos and Cross would split the proceeds received from Calder. Around December 1999, defendant Cross agreed to participate in the scheme with defendant Cantrell in which Cantrell would submit fraudulent invoices and delivery tickets to Calder for chemicals that would never be delivered, and that Cantrell and Cross would split the proceeds received from Calder.
The Information and documents filed with the court allege that Cross would telephone orders to Campos and to Cantrell for chemicals purportedly needed by Calder. Campos and Cantrell would prepare delivery tickets purporting that chemicals had, in fact, been delivered to Calder, which delivery tickets Cross would sign falsely reflecting that the chemicals had been received by Calder. Cross would submit the fraudulent delivery ticket to the accounting department at Calder, and Campos and Cantrell would submit invoices to Calder, fraudulently requesting payment for the delivery of the chemicals.
At least 80% of the chemicals invoiced to Calder by Campos’ companies were never delivered to Calder, and none of the chemicals invoiced to Calder by Cantrell were ever delivered to Calder. From around 1998 through March 2008, Campos fraudulently obtained checks from Calder totalling approximately $2.0 million, which proceeds Campos split with Cross. From around December 1999 through March 2008, Cantrell fraudulently obtained checks from Calder totalling approximately $1.5 million, which proceeds Cantrell split with Cross.
According to the Information and documents filed with the court, as part of his duties as track supervisor, Cross would hire or recommend that Calder hire tradesman and other workers. Cross told certain of the tradesmen that he needed to get paid from the proceeds of the work they performed. Cross would assist the tradesmen in bidding and billing the contracts in order to ensure that there was enough money for him to be paid. From around 2004 through around April 2005, a plumbing contractor paid Cross’ credit card bills and other bills totalling approximately $120,000. In accordance with the scheme, from around April 2005 through around March 2008, the three tradesmen paid “kick-backs” totalling approximately $1 million into a company Cross formed and placed in the name of another person.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS in connection with the investigation of this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey N. Kaplan.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.