Local Man Convicted of Sexual Exploitation of Children and Tax Fraud
HOUSTON – Benjamin Douglas Guidry has entered a guilty plea to two counts of sexual exploitation of children and for knowingly making a false claim in the nature of preparing and filing a false tax return, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Special Agent in Charge D. Richard Goss of IRS-Criminal Investigation (CI) and Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI.
“The diligent investigative efforts of IRS-CI special agents not only uncovered evidence of tax crimes but also discovered something much, much, worse, beginning with the discovery of disturbing images on this defendant’s computer,” said Goss. “The collaborative effort between IRS-CI and the FBI ultimately led to Guidry pleading guilty not only to the tax crimes in question but also to the sexual exploitation of children.”
According to the plea agreement filed in the record of the case and to statements made in court, the IRS had been investigating Guidry for possible tax offenses. In May 2015, authorities executed a search warrant at Guidry’s place of business, Financial Precision Group, at which time they seized several computers and boxes of documents. Agents noticed, among other things, that several files on Guidry’s external hard drive had titles that led the IRS to believe they may contain child pornography. Authorities also noticed text messages on his cell phone that appeared to be inappropriate communications with a minor and a video of a minor.
The FBI joined the investigation and later executed a search warrant at Guidry’s residence. During that search, authorities found items present in the video on Guidry’s cell phone, including clothes worn by one of identified minor victims in the video. They also seized a cell phone and multiple computers.
Guidry was arrested at that time.
On two of Guidry’s external hard drives, authorities ultimately discovered a total of at least 164 images and 28 videos of child pornography. Additionally, a cell phone contained at least three videos of child pornography. One of the videos shows one of the minor victims being penetrated by an adult male. That video contains sounds from the victim demonstrating that the minor, who was protesting what was being done to her, was under the influence of a drug or was deeply sleeping. Another victim discovered she had been recorded on two separate occasions, once via a cell phone propped on the back of a toilet and again by an iPad propped up in the same location.
As to the tax offense, Guidry also agreed in the plea agreement that the intended income tax loss was between $250,000 and $550,000.
U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. accepted the plea today and has set sentencing for Jan. 5, 2017. At that time, Guidry faces a minimum of 15 and up to 30 years for each of the sexual exploitation charges as well as a maximum of five years for the tax fraud. Each conviction also carries a possible fine of $250,000.
FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sherri L. Zack and Charles J. Escher are prosecuting the case.