Indianapolis businessman sentenced to four years in federal prison
Indianapolis-United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today the sentencing of an Indianapolis man for his role in an elaborate scheme to defraud local business. James D. Victery, 58, Indianapolis, was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan after being found guilty in a jury trial in September of this year. At trial, Victery was found guilty of two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.
“Mr. Victery’s greed cost local businesses and the government nearly $600,000 in losses,” said Minkler. “Let’s call white collar crime, what it really is; stealing, and those who do will be held accountable for their actions.”
Victery represented himself as a person who was in the business of providing a variety of services to contractors who were considering bidding on government jobs. Those services included acting as an escrow agent, providing bonds, and loans, through a company called TEAM (Tripartite Escrow Agreement Management). The victim-business was a factoring agent that agreed to pay contractors’ invoices before the government was ready to pay, giving the contractors’ prompt access to money to fund their construction projects. Victery purported to his victim-business that he would serve as an escrow agent, holding in trust the money exchanged between the victim-business and the contractors. Victery provided written agreements and emails memorializing the arrangement.
Victery submitted invoices to the victim-business for work that was never performed by the contractors. The evidence at trial revealed Victery had misrepresented himself to the contractors as a provider of bonds, and to the victim-business as an escrow agent. The victim-business paid almost $600,000 to Victery on the fraudulent invoices, and Victery squandered the money on personal business interests and debt in a few months’ time.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
“This sentence highlights the partnership of the FBI and IRS and our mission to dedicate investigative resources to rooting out such corrupt business practices and hold people accountable for their financial fraud,” said W. Jay Abbott, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division. “These criminals are motivated by greed and a desire to see how much they can get away with without care or concern for the consequences and it won’t be tolerated.”
Gabriel Grchan, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation stated, “IRS-CI does not tolerate corrupt business practices that put taxpayers’ dollars at risk. This investigation compliments the many other IRS-CI successes of 2017, announced last week in the IRS-CI Annual Report. We are committed to identifying and stopping financial frauds.”
According to Cindy Cho and Winfield Ong who prosecuted this case for the government, Victery must make restitution of $404,000 and serve three years supervised released release after his sentence.
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 utilize and partner with the District’s law enforcement agencies to detect and prosecute matters involving complex fraud schemes. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Section 5.1.