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Missouri businessman enters plea deal on mail fraud allegations

A business owner has pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud and money laundering charges related to allegations that he embezzled money from the Missouri Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund. Prosecutors say that the Missouri businessman (who actually lives in Kansas) used subcontractors to perform work for nearly a decade, but the businessman created false invoices from one subcontractor to inflate costs. Authorities say that the businessman used the mail to submit the inflated invoices to the insurance fund to embezzle money.

Mail fraud charges may involve allegations of a variety of different conduct, but authorities have to show that the mail has been used to further alleged criminal activity. The government sought to charge the man, but authorities say that he waived his right to have the case presented before a grand jury. The Fifth Amendment provides the right to a grand jury indictment on the federal offense. But, the man reportedly waived that right and the case was filed in court on a legal document known as a federal information that outlines the allegations of the offense.

The man entered a plea deal with prosecutors to resolve the criminal charges. He has agreed to pay restitution to the insurance fund as part of his plea deal. He will be sentenced at a later date. The sentencing will be scheduled after the probation office completes a presentence investigation.

A person can make objections to a presentence investigation report where appropriate. In some cases, a plea agreement will include negotiations on sentencing issues based upon the anticipated or expected results of the presentence report. The rights, rules and procedures in criminal court are complex and a person should consider seeking the advice and representation of legal counsel in any federal criminal probe.

Source: Kansas City Infozine, “Lenexa Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Scheme to Embezzle Missouri State Fund," Nov. 13, 2013

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