News and Press Releases

Las Vegas Accountant Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Two Counts of Filing False Tax Returns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2002

Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, and Byram Tichenor, Special-Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service for Nevada and Utah, announce that Brian R. Cole, a former resident of Henderson, Nevada, pled guilty today in federal court in Las Vegas to a Criminal Information charging two counts of Filing False Tax Returns.

Cole, age 36, formerly of 2718 Timber Crossing Court, Henderson, Nevada, now resides in Englewood, Colorado. In 1997 and 1998, Cole was the controller for purchasepro.com, Inc.("PPRO"), a corporation based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cole also performed accounting duties for Cart-It and Cabinetry ("CART"), Inc., another Las Vegas corporation. The two entities were connected by a common ownership interest of the CEO. During the above time period, the defendant embezzled approximately $111,114 from the two corporations, but mainly from CART, by writing checks using his authority as controller. Although the "file copies" of the checks indicated that they were written to cover Form 941 Payroll Tax deposits, Cole actually made the original checks payable to himself or to a nominee entity that he controlled. The checks were then deposited to bank accounts in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Cole signed and filed personal federal income tax returns which did not include the illicit income. The IRS discovered the discrepancy when CART reconciled their payroll tax.

Mr. Cole is scheduled for sentencing July 12, 2002, before U.S. District Court Judge Phillip Pro. The offense of Filing False Tax Returns is a felony, which has a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be dictated by the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and will be imposed in the discretion of the Court.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service . The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Parrella.

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