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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Andrews Electrician of a False Billing Scheme and for Failing to File Tax Returns

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

In Midland, a jury yesterday afternoon convicted Andrews County electrician Randall Varian Hanks on federal charges in connection with a false billing scheme and failing to file tax returns that resulted in excess of $1.5 million loss to local businesses announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie, Jr., El Paso Division, and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge William Cotter. 


The 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.


Hanks remains on bond pending sentencing.  Hanks faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each mail fraud count and up to one year in federal prison and a $25,000 fine for each failure to file a tax return count.  Additionally, he may be required to forfeit property and money he acquired because of his fraudulent scheme.  Sentencing is scheduled for February 13, 2018, in Midland before Senior United States District Judge Robert A. Junell.


The FBI Oilfield Theft Task Force and IRS-CI agents investigated this case.

Updated November 9, 2017