News and Press Releases

Computer Printer Technician Acknowledges Defrauding Children’s of Alabama

October 24 , 2012

BIRMINGHAM – A former computer printer service technician at Children’s of Alabama has agreed to plead guilty to defrauding the hospital of $426,986 by charging it for printer cartridges he sold to another company, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Haley III.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged JOHN DAVID NICHOLS, 36, of Hueytown, with one count of wire fraud on Oct. 1. Nichols agrees to plead guilty to the charge in an agreement prosecutors filed today in U.S. District Court.

“White collar crime doesn’t pay in the Northern District of Alabama,” Vance said. “Defrauding a hospital that ministers to children is particularly callous. This defendant deserves to be punished.”

According to Nichols’ plea agreement, he worked on site at Children’s of Alabama as a service technician for Tech-Optics Inc. from October 2009 through October 2011. Tech-Optics had a contract with the hospital that included providing preventive maintenance, repair and toner cartridges for printers. Nichols acknowledges that from August 2010 to October 2011, he used Tech-Optics’ computer inventory system to order toner cartridges for Children’s. The hospital paid for the cartridges, but Nichols sold them to an Alabama company, Image Craft, which bought new and used toner cartridges.

Nichols continued the scheme after Children’s ended its contract with Tech-Optics in October 2011 and contracted for the printer services from Ameri-Tek, according to the plea agreement. Nichols went to work for Ameri-Tek and continued, into March 2012, to order cartridges on behalf of Children’s, which he then sold.

Between August 2010 and March 2012, Nichols sold about 6,316 items to Image Craft, according to his plea agreement. Of those items, about 4,900 were printer cartridges Nichols charged to Children’s, and the remaining items included laptop computers, printers, printer parts and fax machines he had stolen from the hospital. Nichols received $234,525 from Image Craft for the equipment, according to the plea agreement.

Nichols could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the wire fraud count.

The FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Cornelius is prosecuting.





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