Businessman Pleads Guilty to Role in Health Benefit Plans Scheme
In San Antonio, Samuel Mullen, former Chief Financial Officer of the Mullen Pension & Benefits Group, LLC. (Mullen Group), pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge for his role in a bribery and kickback scheme which victimized several local school districts, a municipality, and their constituents regarding health care benefit plans announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs.
Appearing before United States Magistrate Judge John W. Primomo yesterday afternoon, the Mission, TX, resident pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud. By pleading guilty, Mullen admitted that from March 2007 until June 2014, he and others devised a scheme to defraud various school districts and the Bexar Metropolitan Water District (BexarMet) through the use of bribes, kickbacks and concealment of material information. According to court records, the defendant, and the Mullen Group, were in competition with other business entities to provide health insurance benefit plans and products to local school districts and municipalities. Those entities included San Antonio ISD, Edgewood ISD, South San Antonio ISD and BexarMet. Mullen, admittedly, paid an independent consultant hired by the school districts and BexarMet over $80,000 for help in securing contracts with those entities on behalf of insurance companies with whom the Mullen Group had a financial interest. By providing bribes and kickbacks which allowed the Mullen Group to corruptly obtain insurance contracts, the defendant personally profited by receiving commissions on those insurance contracts.
Mullen faces up to five years in federal prison. He remains on bond pending sentencing scheduled for January 25, 2017, before U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez in San Antonio.
This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Assistant United States Attorneys Mark Roomberg and Joseph Blackwell are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.