Greenwood man charged in fraud scheme
Alleged to have embezzled nearly $2.7 million from local construction company
Indianapolis - United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler, announced charges today against a former project manager for an Indianapolis construction management company. Troy L. Sissom, 52, Greenwood, Indiana, was charged with mail fraud and making a false tax return.
“Internal theft costs all consumers through higher prices on goods and services,” said Minkler. “Fraud, tax evasion, and other white collar crimes, are offenses which ultimately take money out of the pockets of hard working Hoosiers and such crimes will be aggressively prosecuted by this office.”
Sissom was employed by the F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company (WCC) as a project manager. His responsibilities there included creating estimates for jobs, overseeing the financial aspects of construction projects, and approving material purchases for his projects.
In 2003, Sissom created a corporation named LTEE Source and rented a commercial UPS mailbox under that name. Between 2003 and 2015, Sissom created false invoices in the name of LTEE and submitted them to the accounting department at WCC for payment. These invoices were for materials purported to have been for construction projects supervised by Sissom. WCC would then mail the checks for payment of the fraudulent invoices to Sissom’s UPS mailbox. Sissom would then deposit the checks into an account he opened under the LTEE name and used the money for his own purposes.
The estimated loss to WCC was over $2.7 million. Tax loss to the IRS was over $381,000. Sissom has agreed to plead guilty to both charges.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
"Tax evasion is not a victimless crime, said Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation, James D. Robnett. “When people cheat on their taxes, honest taxpayers suffer the consequences and have to make up the difference. We should not expect the honest American taxpayer to foot the bill for Mr. Sissom and others who hide income from the IRS.”
“Protecting the public is a core function of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service," said Patricia Armstrong, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service's Detroit Division. "This case shows our diligence in pursuing criminal schemes and ruining a fraudster's ability to continue them."
According to Assistant United States Attorney James M. Warden who is prosecuting the case for the government, Sissom faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment if convicted and will make full restitution to Wilhelm Construction and pay the entire tax liability to the government.
An information is merely a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in federal court.