Former Las Vegas Valley Water District Employee Pleads Guilty To $6.7 Million Ink/Toner Cartridge Scheme And Tax Evasion
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A former employee of the Las Vegas Valley Water District pleaded guilty today to mail fraud and tax evasion as part of a scheme to defraud the public utilities company of over $6.7 million, announced U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson of the District of Nevada.
Jennifer J. McCain-Bray, aka JJ McCain, 43, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson to one count of mail fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. Sentencing is set for January 29, 2019. The maximum penalty for mail fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and the maximum penalty for subscribing to a false tax return is three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She also faces a $6,715,531 criminal forfeiture money judgment.
Between October 2001 and October 2007, McCain worked as a purchasing analyst for the Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) and she was responsible for transmitting orders and payments to vendors when particular products were requested from LVVWD departments and employees. McCain-Bray admitted that between January 1, 2007 to about December 7, 2015, she devised the scheme to defraud the LVVWD by falsely representing that her purchases of ink and toner cartridges were for the LVVWD, when she knew that the products were actually purchased for a New Jersey company which received and then resold the cartridges for its own profit. McCain-Bray instructed the vendor to ship the ink and toner cartridges from California and other locations to her at her LVVWD office in Las Vegas. She then relabeled the packages and shipped them to the New Jersey company. In exchange, the New Jersey company transferred money to McCain-Bray’s personal PayPal account. Financial records indicate that McCain-Bray used the fraud proceeds for personal expenses and purchases, including extensive home remodeling and improvements, trips, gifts to family members and friends, and other lifestyle expenses. Between 2007 and 2015, McCain-Bray fraudulently purchased approximately $6.7 million in ink and toner cartridges with LVVWD funds.
McCain-Bray also failed to report her profits from the scheme on her personal tax returns for tax years 2011 to 2015. For those years, she failed to report a total of $2,339,156.12 in taxable income to the Internal Revenue Service.
The case is being investigated by the FBI and the IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Burns is prosecuting the case.