Illinois Man Sentenced on Fraud and Money Laundering Charges
St. Louis, MO – Adam Bernaix, Edwardsville, Illinois, was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment on a fraud and money laundering scheme involving false invoices submitted to his employer on behalf of a shell company he created.
According to his plea agreement, Bernaix earned approximately $350,000 through Trident Management Solutions, a company he created solely to bill companies doing business with his employer. Bernaix submitted invoices for "services rendered" to companies doing business with his employer, Albert Arno, an HVAC contractor in the City of St. Louis. Bernaix, as a project manager for Albert Arno, was able to mark up the invoices of Trident’s clients to Albert Arno so that his employer provided the extra money needed for Trident’s clients to pay their Trident bills.
Bernaix employed his father-in-law at one point to perform occasional jobs, but even after Trident’s sole employee left the company and Trident did absolutely nothing for its clients, Bernaix still sent Trident clients bills and marked up the client’s Albert Arno bills sufficiently to keep the money flowing to Trident.
Bernaix pled guilty in July to two felony counts of mail fraud and two felony counts of money laundering. He appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Henry Autrey. In addition to his term of imprisonment, Bernaix was ordered to pay $427,713 in restitution to the victim of his crime.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.