Former CEO of Coupon Clearinghouse Convicted of Fraud & Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice
United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad has announced that on December 5, 2016, Thomas C. Balsiger (63) of El Paso, Texas, was convicted of 12 felony offenses relating to his role in devising and executing a wide-ranging fraud scheme involving retail coupons.
In December 2007, a federal grand jury indicted International Outsourcing Services (IOS), which at the time was the nation’s largest clearinghouse for retail coupons, as well as eleven individuals, including Mr. Balsiger, IOS’s Chief Executive Officer and one of its owners, for allegedly executing a scheme to defraud manufacturers who issued “cents off” coupons for use by consumers as well as to defraud IOS’s own retail clients. The grand jury also alleged that Mr. Balsiger and his codefendants conspired to defraud these entities and further conspired to obstruct the investigation into their activities by: (1) providing false information to federal law enforcement; (2) providing false information to retail clients who had received grand jury subpoenas; (3) attempting to persuade individuals to provide false information if contacted by law enforcement; (4) suing and threatening to financially harm IOS employees who cooperated with law enforcement; and (5) concealing and destroying records to prevent their discovery by law enforcement.
Following the trial, which lasted over a month, United States District Judge Charles N. Clevert, Jr. convicted Mr. Balsiger of 10 counts of wire fraud and one count of wire fraud conspiracy, each of which carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Mr. Balsiger also was convicted of conspiring to obstruct justice, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. Mr. Balsiger also faces a potential restitution order.
Judge Clevert has set Mr. Balsiger’s sentencing for March 6, 2017.
The case was assigned to Assistant United States Attorneys Richard G. Frohling, Kelly B. Watzka, Stephen A. Ingraham, and Zachary J. Corey for prosecution. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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