Georgia Man Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Defraud Human Capital Management Agencies
PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Lawrenceville, Georgia, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of wire fraud, Acting United States Attorney Troy Rivetti announced today.
Walter Gaillard, age 43, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Marilyn J. Horan.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Gaillard belonged to a conspiracy that targeted human capital management agencies located throughout the United States. In connection with the scheme, a member of the conspiracy registered businesses in Georgia and Minnesota. Afterwards, an online presence for the companies was created to include email addresses and websites. In reality, the companies were shells lacking employees, clients, or physical assets. The organizer of the conspiracy then entered into management agreements in which the management agencies agreed to handle the companies’ payroll and employee withholding in exchange for reimbursement of the advanced payroll and a service fee. Between 2017 and 2019, Gaillard and other members of the conspiracy submitted fake time sheets to the management agencies which wired money into bank accounts controlled by Gaillard and other conspirators. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Gaillard agreed that he was responsible for causing a loss of $150,000-$250,000 to the management agencies. The management agencies terminated the agreements after receiving no response for repeated claims for payment.
Judge Horan scheduled sentencing for July 12, 2023, at 11:00 am. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000.00, a term of supervised release of not more than three years, or a combination thereof. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court released Gaillard on bond.
Assistant United States Attorney Michael Leo Ivory is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Gaillard.