Indicted Business Executive Arrested on False Invoicing Scheme
HOUSTON – The owner of Tinkle Management Inc. (TMI) has been charged in a 13-count federal indictment alleging a scheme in which he billed for $15 million in supplies that were never delivered, announced Kenneth Magidson.
John Blake Tinkle, 59, of Tomball, is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy at 2:00 p.m. today. A federal grand jury returned the 13-count indictment under seal on July 21, 2015, which was unsealed today upon Tinkle’s arrest.
Tinkle is charged with nine counts of wire fraud and four counts of money laundering.
The Indictment alleges that from 2008 through 2015, Tinkle falsely invoiced Houston-based Westlake Chemical Corporation for approximately $15 million in shipping supplies that TMI never delivered. TMI was Westlake’s supplier of plastic shipping bags that Westlake used to ship its chemical products internationally. According to the indictment, TMI delivered the shipping bags to Packwell Inc., a packaging and logistics company in La Porte, who used the bags to package Westlake’s chemical products and ship them through the Houston ship channel. In addition to invoicing Westlake for bags that had actually been delivered, Tinkle allegedly submitted false invoices to Westlake for deliveries of bags to Packwell that, in reality, had not occurred.
The charges indicate Tinkle supported his false invoices to Westlake by attaching Packwell receiving reports that Tinkle altered to purportedly show Packwell had received them, when they actually had not. Relying on the false TMI invoices and fake Packwell receiving reports, Westlake paid TMI millions of dollars for bags that Westlake and Packwell never received.
If convicted of any of the wire fraud counts, Tinkle faces up to 20 years in federal prison, while the money laundering carries a possible 10-year-term. Both crimes could also result in a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Johnson of the Southern District of Texas.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.