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Press Release

Former Pelco President Sentenced and Ordered to Pay More Than $3.6 Million in Restitution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Oklahoma

TULSA, Okla. – Today, U.S. District Judge Terence C. Kern sentenced Phillip Barry Albert, 64, of Tulsa, to 30 months imprisonment, followed by 1 year of supervised release, for Tax Evasion. Judge Kern further ordered Albert to pay more than $3.6 million in restitution.

According to court documents, from 2004 through 2021, Phillip Barry Albert was the President of Pelco Structural (Pelco) in Claremore, Oklahoma. In 2014, Albert directed the company controller, Don Eagleton, to have the company’s payroll service provider issue “reimbursements” to Albert from Pelco, for undocumented expenses. He then had the “reimbursements” coded in the company’s financial documents in such a way that they would not appear as taxable income. He then willfully failed to pay taxes on the “reimbursement” payments. Prosecutors pointed out that Albert was previously employed as a tax preparer. Given Albert’s intelligence and the overall sophistication of the scheme, he knew the requests for “reimbursements” did not relate to any legitimate business expense.

From 2014 through 2019, Albert’s unreported income was $2,615,750. This left Albert owing more than $1 million in taxes. Because of Albert’s theft and related acts of embezzlement during his time at the company, Pelco calculates their actual total loss was more than $10 million, without taking into account the loss of business opportunities.

In a separate federal case, Don Eagleton pleaded guilty to knowingly concealing Albert’s fraudulent activity from authorities. He was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $1,543,000 in restitution.

Albert was permitted to remain on bond and ordered to voluntarily surrender on a specific date, to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

The IRS Criminal Investigation and FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Duncombe and Trial Attorney Meredith M. Havekost of the Justice Department’s Tax Division prosecuted the case.


Public Affairs

Updated March 25, 2024