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Press Release

Former Mountain Energy Co. Operations and Financial Manager Pleads Guilty to Defrauding his Employer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of mail fraud and tax evasion, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Kevin C. Conklin, 56, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Court David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Conklin was employed by Mountain Energy Company, Ltd., an energy company headquartered in Aleppo Pennsylvania that operated oil and natural gas wells in the Western District of Pennsylvania. As part of his employment, Conklin oversaw the day-to day operations of Mountain Energy and managed the financial matters of Mountain Energy.

From January 2008 through December 2012, Conklin engaged in a scheme to defraud Mountain Energy and fraudulently obtained thousands of dollars of Mountain Energy’s funds. As part of the fraudulent scheme, Conklin used checks drawn on Mountain Energy’s business bank account to pay for personal expenses, including payments for Conklin' s home, personal credit card bills, college tuition for his daughter, an engagement ring for his son and automobile payments for a personal vehicle. Conklin falsely recorded in the financial database of Mountain Energy, the payee information and purpose of the Mountain Energy’s checks used by Conklin for his personal expenses. As part of the scheme, Conklin concealed from Mountain Energy’s tax preparer and the Internal Revenue Service, the expenditure of Mountain Energy’s funds to pay for his personal expenses.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for October 4, 2018. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 25 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorneys Mary McKeen Houghton and Paul E. Hull are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, conducted the investigation leading to the conviction in this case.

Updated May 24, 2018

Financial Fraud