Bedford man sentenced for mail fraud, money laundering, and filing a false federal tax return
Evansville – Josh J. Minkler, United States Attorney, announced today that Blakely A. Clements, 33, of Bedford, Indiana, was sentenced to 15 months in prison by U.S. District Chief Judge Richard L. Young following his guilty plea to Mail Fraud, Money Laundering and Filing a False Federal Tax Return. This case was the result of an investigation by the Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, and the Indiana State Police and the Daviess County Indiana Prosecuting Attorney.
“Emergency grants are meant to help people get back on their feet after a natural disaster, not line the pockets of public officials,” said Minkler. “Those who choose to put personal greed ahead of community needs will face the hammer of federal prosecution.”
On September 8, 2015, Clements admitted to the Court that he participated in a scheme to defraud the Daviess County Long Term Recovery Committee (DCLTRC) and to obtain money by means of false and fraudulent pretenses using the United States Mail. While acting as the financial director of the DCLTRC, Clements submitted invoices to Non-profit Processing and Accounting Services to comply with conditions of a grant the Committee received from United Way of Indiana. The purpose of the grant was to provide financial assistance to Daviess County victims in repairing flood damage. Clements submitted invoices that appeared to be for the benefit of flood victims when in fact the expenditures were made to acquire home improvement materials and other items for the personal benefit of Clements in the amount of $89,500.
Clements admitted to money laundering by paying his personal Home Depot Citibank credit card using funds obtained from the DCLTRC and deposited a refund check from the credit card into his personal account for $11,352.21. Finally, Clements also admitted to filing a false federal tax return for the year 2010, because he did not report as income any of the funds derived from the DCLTRC.
“Today’s sentencing of Mr. Clements sends a clear message that defrauding the people of Daviess County comes with a price,” said IRS Special Agent in Charge Steven Boyd. “IRS Criminal Investigation helps ensure that all Americans, including public officials, are held to the same standard. IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to work as a team with the United States Attorney’s Office, our federal and state counterparts to follow the money and stop corruption.”
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Judge Young imposed three years supervised release following Clements release from prison and order restitution in the amount of $114,670.80.