NEW ORLEANS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MAIL FRAUD
MARK J. TITUS, age 48, of New Orleans, Louisiana, pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle, to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to documents filed in the Court’s record, TITUS is the Chief Operations Officer and part-owner of Garner Services, L.L.C. (hereinafter GSL), a construction management company whose customers include the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. TITUS managed day-to-day operations, supervised sub-contractors, and oversaw invoicing and payments to the sub-contractors.
An investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service revealed a scheme by TITUS and his brother-in-law, Dominick Fazzio, to defraud GSL of approximately $1,200,320 by issuing fraudulent invoices to GSL on behalf of two sham companies they had incorporated. Ultimately, the funds paid by GSL to those sham companies were transferred to TLT Properties, a company controlled by TITUS. Furthermore, after becoming aware of the investigation, TITUS and Fazzio created numerous false documents in order to impede the investigation. It should be noted that Fazzio was charged separately and is awaiting trial.
The defendant faces a maximum term of five (5) years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000.00, and three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing is scheduled for January 25, 2012.
This investigation was conducted by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Gregory M. Kennedy, Brian Klebba, James R. Mann, and Salvador R. Perricone.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org