News and Press Releases

Fairview Man Pleads Guilty in Large-Scale Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme

September 26, 2012

ERIE, Pa. - A resident of Fairview, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of wire fraud and money laundering, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Shawn W. Vaught, 37, pleaded guilty to four counts before United States District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Vaught utilized the company names: Infinite Power & Design, LLC, Infinite Power & Energy, LLC, and Performance Engineering, located at 8000A Middle Road, Fairview, Pennsylvania, which he claimed to be involved, among other things, in the sale, refurbishment and design of commercial power generator engine sets and associated equipment. According to the indictment, Vaught obtained more than $1,100,000.00 from three different victims from 2006 through 2010 for generators that were never delivered. According to the indictment, Vaught made materially false, fraudulent, and misleading representations to the victims to induce them to enter into agreements to purchase generators, fabricated documents and made materially false and misleading representations concerning the availability and current status of the generators , and made excuses to the victims concerning why the generators had not been delivered. According to the indictment, Vaught issued and caused to be issued various interstate wire communications in furtherance of the scheme, and he transferred the funds from his business accounts, among other things, to pay off various liabilities related to a bankruptcy proceeding in Missouri, to pay his outstanding tax liabilities, and for other personal and business expenditures. As part of the guilty plea, Vaught agreed to pay restitution in the total amount of $1,371,318.09 payable to the former Erie Shipbuilding; Reserve Holdings, LLC, Menominee, Michigan; Facility Gateway Corporation, McFarland, Wisconsin; and Western Branch Diesel, Portsmouth, Virginia.

Judge McLaughlin scheduled sentencing for February 12, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 70 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Vaught on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Vaught.

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