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April 8, 2013

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee

Jeffrey Bryant Nichols Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement Scheme

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- On Apr. 4, 2013, Jeffrey Bryant Nichols, 54, of Loudon, Tenn., pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering violations. Sentencing has been set for 9:30 a.m., Jun. 18, 2013 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville. He faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison for the mail fraud and 10 years in prison for the money laundering.

Nichols was employed with Architectural Graphics Incorporated (AGI) a Virginia Beach, Va., based company that designs and manufactures architectural interior and exterior sign systems in the United States. While working as a project manager, Nichols conspired with another employee to create a fictitious company known as Outdoor Graphic Displays. The company was created for the sole purpose of defrauding AGI, by creating fictitious subcontracting invoices and submitting them to AGI for payment. Between August 2005 and June 2007, 11 fictitious and fraudulent invoices, totaling $359,575.00, were submitted to AGI from Outdoor Graphic Displays.

On Feb. 22, 2012, a three-count indictment, including the above referenced charges, was returned against Nichols by a federal grand jury sitting in Knoxville Tennessee. This indictment was the result of an ongoing investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigation. Jennifer Kolman Assistant U.S. Attorney represented the United States.

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