former vice president of alberici constructors pleads guilty to fraud
St. Louis, MO – Clone Jefferson Oliver pled guilty to participating in a scheme to defraud Alberici Constructors, Inc. by inflating invoices.
CLONE JEFFERSON OLIVER, Apollo Beach FL, former vice-president of construction at St. Louis-based Alberici, pled guilty to six counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. United States District Judge Catherine D. Perry has set his sentencing has been set for December 19, 2013.
According to court documents, Oliver was the project manager for Alberici on a project to build a water treatment plant in Arlington County, Virginia. Work on the project began in September 2006 and the cost of the project was $238,000,000. Oliver and Kenneth Marc Simmons, a subcontractor on the project, participated in a scheme to defraud Alberici through the preparation and submission of inflated invoices and false change orders for materials provided to the project by Simmons' business, Industrial and Municipal Supply (IMS). When IMS received payment on the bad invoices, Simmons kept a share and then forwarded money in the nature of kickbacks to Oliver. Simmons made many of the payments to a corporation formed by Oliver called Advanced Construction Solutions which had the same initials (ACS) as another supplier to the Arlington project, American Construction Services. The court document refers to Oliver's company as the "fake ACS" while the latter company is referred to as the “real ACS.” Oliver admitted that, in the scheme to overpay IMS, Alberici was overbilled in the amount of $4.8 million from 2006 through 2011.
The real ACS provided welding services to the project. At Oliver's direction the owner of the real ACS billed Alberici for piping actually supplied by IMS in a situation where the real ACS provided only welding services on that piping. IMS invoiced the real ACS for that piping, through inflated invoices of approximately $2,000,000. The real ACS included those billings in the invoices it submitted to Alberici for payment.
“IRS Criminal Investigation’s role becomes even more important in kickback schemes due to the complex financial transactions involving fictitious entities and false documents,” said Sybil Smith, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. “Those individuals who engage in this type of financial fraud should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable.”
Each count of mail and wire fraud carries a maximum prison term of 20 years in prison and/or fines to $250,000. Oliver is charged in two additional counts of money laundering with each count carrying a maximum prison term of 10 years and/or a fine up to $250,000. If convicted, each defendant would be subject to an order of restitution in favor of Alberici.
Oliver will be liable to pay Alberici the full $6.8 million in restitution. He agreed that property and assets he acquired with the stolen money would be forfeited as part of that restitution. This includes two houses in Florida (one in Apollo Beach and one in Zephyrhills), a diamond ring with platinum mounting, a 2010 Mercedes Benz vehicle, a 2007 Sea Ray boat, two SeaDoo Bombardier water craft and several bank accounts.
Co-defendant KENNETH MARC SIMMONS, La Grange GA, pled guilty earlier this month to two felony counts of mail fraud and two felony counts of wire fraud before Judge Perry. His sentencing is scheduled for December 18, 2013.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys James E. Crowe, Jr., Anthony Franks and Richard Finneran are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.