Licking County man pleads guilty to committing $1.5 million in fraud
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jeremie Adam Elkins, 45, of Newark, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to causing more than $1.5 million in fraud in connection with access devices. Elkins committed wire fraud and illegally possessed a firearm after previously being convicted of a felony crime.
According to court documents, from July to October 2020, Elkins used his company-issued credit card to pay for personal expenses like hotels/resorts, restaurants, bars, pawn shops and auction houses. Elkins had been employed as a Network Engineer at Verizon, Inc.
Elkins also used an old Verizon work order number to place multiple fraudulent orders with vendor W.W. Grainger, Inc. Grainger provides tools and equipment for Verizon service vans.
Elkins placed 46 unauthorized orders to Grainger and personally picked up the majority of the equipment, which totaled approximately $936,000. He used the illicit proceeds to purchase two boats and a motorcycle.
The defendant placed an additional 20 unauthorized orders to Grainger, for items totaling nearly $954,000, but never obtained the equipment.
As part of his plea, Elkins agrees to pay nearly $24,000 in restitution to Verizon and more than $936,000 in restitution to W.W. Grainger.
When he was arrested in August 2021, Elkins illegally possessed a pistol. Elkins was previously convicted of a felony crime in Licking County. Elkins also admitted to investigators that he has sold 15 to 20 firearms.
Wire fraud is a federal crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Fraud in connection with access devices is a federal crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony carries a potential maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Congress sets the maximum statutory sentence. Sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, announced the plea entered Sept. 22 before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. and commended the investigation by the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Brenda S. Shoemaker is representing the United States in this case.
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