Former Evansville man sentenced in fraud scheme
Stole over $837,000 from Carmi, Illinois energy company
Evansville –United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today that a former Evansville resident who worked as the business manager of a Carmi, Illinois, oil and gas company was sentenced for his role in a massive fraud scheme. Kent W. Cutchin, 62, Gilbertsville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to possessing forged securities, money laundering and filing false tax returns and was sentenced to 46 months imprisonment (nearly four years) by U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young.
“White collar crime affects all of us in the form of higher product costs and lost tax revenue,” said Minkler. “This sentence is a strong message to those who feel like they are above the law to think again.”
Cutchin was the office manager for R Energy, a company headquartered in Carmi, Illinois which performs oil and gas field services in multiple states, including Indiana. Cutchin was responsible for paying bills, maintaining office payroll, ordering supplies, and purchasing inventory.
Between December 2011 and February 2015, Cutchin forged the signature of R Energy’s company president on over 500 checks. He wrote the checks to himself and purchased items for his personal use rather than buying items in the ordinary course of business. He used the fraudulently obtained funds for his personal benefit, including making home improvements on his residence in Evansville and purchasing an all-terrain utility vehicle. In total, the amount of theft equaled approximately $837,251.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.
“Mr. Cutchin filed three false federal tax returns to conceal his illegal income from the IRS. No matter what the source of income, all income is taxable,” said Gabriel Grchan, IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge. “The prosecution of individuals who intentionally conceal income and evade taxes is a vital element of the IRS' enforcement strategy."
“For years, Cutchin enriched himself by abusing his position and the trust of his company by stealing thousands of dollars through a scheme of fraud and deceit, said Grant Mendenhall, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Indianapolis Field Office. “Today’s sentence is a testament to the dedication of the special agents, analysts and prosecutors who work tirelessly to bring white collar criminals to justice.”
According to Assistant United States Attorney Kyle M. Sawa, who prosecuted this case for the government, Cutchin must make full restitution to his former employer and repay over $237,000 to the IRS.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the Office’s firm commitment to prosecuting those who commit large-scale fraud schemes
. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan 5.1