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Press Release

Andrews Electrician Sentenced to Federal Prison for False Billing Scheme and for Failing to File Tax Returns

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

In Midland today, a federal judge sentenced Andrews County electrician Randall Varian Hanks to 97 months in federal prison for a false billing scheme that resulted in more than a $1.5 million loss to local businesses and for failing to file tax returns, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie, Jr., El Paso Division, and Acting Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Andy Tsui. 

In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge David Counts ordered that Hanks pay $1,786,559.68 restitution and be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.  Judge Counts also ordered that Hanks forfeit to the Government his Andrews County residential property, agreeing that it was proceeds generated from the defendant’s fraudulent scheme.  At the end of today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Counts remanded Hanks into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving his prison term.

On November 9, 2017, a federal jury convicted the 46-year-old, who once owned and operated Sandhills Electric, Inc., of four counts of mail fraud and three counts of failure to file a tax return.

Evidence presented at trial revealed that from June 2013 to May 2016, Hanks, while working for two area oilfield services companies, generated fraudulent service tickets and invoices in excess of $1.5 million for parts and services that he fraudulently claimed to have provided to the two companies’ customers.  Both oilfield service companies paid Hanks and then billed the respective customers for parts and services Hanks claimed to have provided.

Furthermore, testimony revealed that Hanks received more than the applicable threshold in personal income each year, yet failed to file income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service for the calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015, resulting in tax losses to the U.S. Government of nearly $500,000.

The FBI Oilfield Theft Task Force and IRS-CI agents investigated this case.  Assistant United States Attorney Glenn Harwood prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.  

Updated March 9, 2018

Financial Fraud