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Former Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Workers Compensation Claims Administration Director Pleads Guilty To Mail Fraud Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2014

In Austin today, Herman G. Wilks, former Department Director of Workers’ Compensation Claims Administration for the Texas Association of School Boards, Inc. (TASB), pleaded guilty to stealing over $500,000 from the TASB’s Risk Management Fund announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez, San Antonio Division.

The TASB is a voluntary, non-profit, statewide educational association that serves and represents local Texas school districts, regional education service centers, community colleges, and tax appraisal districts.  One of the products and services offered by TASB to its members is the TASB Risk Management Fund. The TASB Risk Management Fund provides specific coverage to members through their requisite financial contributions into the risk management pool. This coverage can then apply with regard to unemployment compensation claims, workers' compensation claims, auto, liability and property programs. Wilks’ TASB duties included the supervision of setting up member school districts' workers' compensation claims, adjudicating medical bills and carrying out the utilization, management and pre-authorization functions required by the workers' compensation statutes. Pursuant to his title and area of responsibility at TASB, Wilks had control over and direct access to the entire claimant pay process by which TASB accepted and paid workers' compensation claims for its contributing members by way of the TASB Risk Management Fund.

Appearing before U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks this morning, Wilks pleaded guilty to ten counts of mail fraud.  By pleading guilty, Wilks admitted that from April 2008 until March 2013, he unlawfully obtained approximately $514,400 from TASB via the TASB Risk Management Fund by submitting fraudulent workers’ compensation claims on behalf of Medco Implantable Supply, a company he created for the sole purpose of carrying out his fraudulent scheme, for products and services that were never actually ordered, provided or rendered.

“Like many defendants, Mr. Wilks undoubtedly concocted his scheme of setting up a dummy company to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the TASB Risk Management Fund with full confidence that he would get away with it.  This prosecution should remind would-be thieves like Mr. Wilks that their schemes will be discovered and they will lose not only their ill-gotten gain, but their livelihoods, reputations and quite likely their freedom as a result,” stated U.S. Attorney Pitman.

Wilks faces up to 20 years in federal prison per count.  He is currently out on bond pending sentencing which has yet to be scheduled.

This indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Hoff is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

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