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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 21, 2018

Former Rite Aid Vice President And Atlanta Business Owners Charged In $5.7 Million Vendor Kick-Back Scheme

HARRISBURG –The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a former Rite Aid Vice President and the two owners of an Atlanta based company have been charged for their role in a $5.7 million vendor kick-back scheme.

According to U.S. Attorney David J. Freed, James W. Pilsner, age 60, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was charged in a criminal information filed on September 20, 2018, with one count of wire fraud and one count of federal income tax evasion.  The criminal information alleges that Pilsner, a former Vice President for Advertising for Rite Aid, engaged in a kick-back scheme with Larry Nuckols and Vance Taylor, the owners of Nuvision, Inc., an Atlanta, Georgia based company, between 1995 and August of 2017. 

According to the criminal information, Pilsner entered into an agreement with Nuckols and Taylor whereby Pilsner would approve Nuvision’s invoices, some of which were false and inflated, for payment.  In exchange, Nuckols and Taylor would “kick-back” a significant portion of Rite Aid’s payments to Pilsner. 

The criminal information alleges that between 2001 and August of 2017, Rite Aid paid Nuvision approximately $45.3 million dollars.  Pilsner allegedly received no less than $5,124,862 in kick-backs over that time period, with another $634,300 paid to other Rite Aid employees designated by Pilsner.

The criminal information also charges Pilsner with Income Tax Evasion for tax year 2013.  In March of 2014, Pilsner allegedly filed an income tax return with the IRS that did not report his receipt of $411,500 in kick-back money during 2013, thereby avoiding approximately $157,648, in federal income taxes.  The information also seeks the forfeiture of Pilsner’s interests in $5,743,162 and his Harrisburg, PA residence.

Larry D. Nuckols, age 69 of Valdosta, Georgia, is also charged in the same criminal information as Pilsner with one count of wire fraud. The information seeks the forfeiture of Nuckols’ interests in nine properties located in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Costa Rico, plus Nuckols’ half interest in a $1.3 million yacht, to the government.

Vance Taylor, age 71, of Acworth, Georgia, also owner of Nuvision, was indicted on September 19, 2018, by a federal grand jury and charged with 40 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and unlawful monetary transactions.  The indictment seeks the forfeiture of $1,239,058 in U.S. Currency, eight cash/investment accounts, 73 tracts of real estate in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, and Taylor’s half interest in the $1.3 million yacht.

No date yet has been scheduled for the defendants’ initial appearances and arraignments on their charges before the U.S. District Court in Harrisburg.

The case is being investigated by the Harrisburg offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Kim Douglas Daniel is prosecuting the case.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law for Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The maximum penalty for Unlawful Monetary Transactions is 10 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The maximum penalty for Income Tax Evasion is 5 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

 

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated September 21, 2018