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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 5, 2015

Lubbock Construction Company Owner Sentenced to 16 Months in Federal Prison on Fraud and False Statements Conviction

Brian Ritter Also Ordered to Forfeit $366,246 in Funds Seized, Firearms and Ammunition

LUBBOCK, Texas — The owner and operator of a construction company in Lubbock, Texas, was sentenced today following his guilty plea last year to an information charging one count of fraud and false statements, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Brian Ritter was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings, and he was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on July 10, 2015.

According to a final judgment of forfeiture entered in the related civil forfeiture case, Ritter must forfeit a total of $366,246.57 seized by the government, as well as eight firearms and 274 rounds of ammunition that were also seized.

According to the factual resume filed in the case, Ritter owns and operates Brian Ritter Construction, Inc. in Lubbock. In 2011, Ritter cashed 63 checks, totaling approximately $213,493.16 that his business had received for payment for services. The currency was stored in Ritter’s residence until he decided to deposit the funds in 2012 and 2013.

The factual resume further states that while Ritter timely filed his federal income tax return for 2011, he willfully omitted income of approximately $213,493.16, knowing he made a materially false statement with regard to his income.

According to the complaint for forfeiture in rem filed in the related civil case, beginning on January 25, 2012 and continuing through May 4, 2012, Ritter made 33 structured currency deposits, totally $275,200 into an account, in the name of Brian Ritter Construction, Inc., at First Capital Bank of Texas. All of these structured deposits were in even dollar amounts, such as $6,000; $8,000; $9,000; and $9,500 and 28 of the 33 cash deposits were single deposits, that is, one deposit made each day. Between February 1, 2012, and May 4, 2012, five structured currency deposits, totaling $9,950.00, were made into another account, in the name of The Ritter Family Trust, at First Capital Bank of Texas.

In March 21, 2013, pursuant to a seizure warrant, agents with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation (CI) seized $186,146.57 contained in an account, in the name of Brian Ritter Construction, Inc., at First Capital Bank of Texas.

That same day, according to the complaint, IRSCI agents executed a search warrant at the Ritter residence in Lubbock, and seized a bag containing $180,100 in cash, bundled in $10,000 increments, from Brian and Ginger Ritter’s bedroom closet. During the execution of this search warrant, agents also discovered numerous syringes and bottles containing liquids, confirmed later by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s laboratory as anabolic steroids. Next to the steroids were ledgers and logs appearing to outline an individual’s steroid use. Agents also seized eight firearms and 274 rounds of ammunition.

IRS-CI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Poe prosecuted.

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Updated June 26, 2015