News and Press Releases

Las Vegas Accountant Sentenced in Federal Court for Filing False Tax Returns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 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, was sentenced today in federal court in Las Vegas to one year and one day in federal prison for his guilty plea to two counts of Filing False Tax Returns, in violation of Title 26 United States Code, Section 7206(1).

COLE, age 36, formerly of 2718 Timber Crossing Court, Henderson, Nevada, now resides in Englewood, Colorado. According to court records, 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.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, COLE will be placed on supervised release for one year following his release from prison, must pay $31,112.11 in restitution for the two tax returns involved, and must cooperate with the IRS in determining the exact amount of taxes he owes.

The case was investigated by Special Agents with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matt Parrella.


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