THREE SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING OIL INDUSTRY SERVICE COMPANY
LARRY COLLINS, age 63, of Golden Meadow, Louisiana; KEVIN LAROUSSE, age 41, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi; and WOODY COLLINS, age 39, of Lockport, Louisiana, were sentenced yesterday before U. S. District Judge Jay Zainey for mail fraud and misprision of a felony , announced United States Attorney Jim Letten. LARRY COLLINS and KEVIN LAROUSSE pled guilty to mail fraud and were each sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and 3 years supervised release. In addition to being ordered to pay $310,805.65 in restitution, the Court fined LARRY COLLINS $5,000 and KEVIN LAROUSSE $2,500. WOODY COLLINS was sentenced to 2 years probation for misprision of a felony. Co-defendant RICHARD AUTIN is scheduled to be sentenced on August 28, 2012.
According to court documents, the defendants defrauded Newpark Resources, Inc., a company that provides drilling fluids, site access, and environmental products and services to the oil and gas exploration and production industry. Defendant RICHARD AUTIN was the facilities manager at Newpark’s Port Fourchon facility. Defendants LARRY COLLINS, WOODY COLLINS and KEVIN LAROUSSE were the owners and operators of Mid-South, a company based in Golden Meadow that provided contract laborers to Newpark’s Port Fourchon facility.
Between 2003 and 2009, LARRY COLLINS and KEVIN LAROUSSE entered into an unlawful agreement with RICHARD AUTIN whereby Mid-South would employ RICHARD AUTIN’s wife and son. In return, RICHARD AUTIN would allow LARRY COLLINS and KEVIN LAROUSSE to bill Newpark for fraudulent time based on fictitious employees to cover the cost of his family’s salaries.
KEVIN LAROUSSE received weekly time sheets from RICHARD AUTIN for Mid-South employees who had done legitimate work at Newpark. LARRY COLLINS and KEVIN LAROUSSE would then add four or five fictitious names to the time sheets with the knowledge and approval of RICHARD AUTIN. LARRY COLLINS and KEVIN LAROUSSE would then provide invoices, reflecting the altered time sheets, to RICHARD AUTIN. RICHARD AUTIN would then send the invoices, based on the altered time sheets, to Newpark for payment. In all, Newpark paid approximately $310,805.65 to Mid-South in fraudulent billing to cover the cost of the salaries of RICHARD AUTIN’s family members.
Furthermore, defendant WOODY COLLINS, aware of the unlawful agreement between his co-defendants, failed to notify any authority and affirmatively concealed the conspiracy by continuing to process and file false and fraudulent invoices in the records of Mid-South during his employment.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney G. Dall Kammer.
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