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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Arkansas

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Former ICON Communication Senior Vice President Admits to Stealing Company Funds

LITTLE ROCK—Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced today that Blaine Francis Houser, 52, of Dover, the former Senior Vice President of ICON Communications of Russellville, pleaded guilty to mail fraud after admitting that he used company funds for personal reasons.

Houser pleaded guilty on Tuesday before United States District Court Judge Kristine G. Baker to a one-count federal Information charging him with mail fraud. His scheme to defraud ICON Communications began in September 2012, when Houser was Senior Vice President, and continued through April 2015. According to the Information, in September 2012, Houser opened a commercial credit application in the name of ICON Communications with Blue Tarp Financial, Inc. of Portland, Maine. He then made a purchase of tools by mail order from Northern Tool & Equipment Company. He had the invoice sent to ICON Communications at their office in Russellville, but had the tools shipped to his house in Dover. Once the invoice arrived at ICON, the bill was paid with monies from the company.

Following this purchase there were other instances of mail fraud committed by Houser, who agreed as part of a plea agreement to pay restitution in the amount of $255,606.52 to ICON.

Houser will be sentenced by Judge Baker at a later date. Mail fraud carries a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and $100 special assessment. The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and is being prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Patrick C. Harris.

Financial Fraud
Updated January 18, 2017