One of the three people involved in allegedly defrauding $850,000 from Tracker Marine, LLC, pleaded guilty in federal court.
Paul Ray Hunting, 39, formerly of Lebanon, pleaded guilty Wednesday to three charges related to his part in a scheme to defraud his former employer. Hunting pleaded guilty to fraud and money-laundering conspiracies and willful failure to make an income tax return, according to a release from the United States Attorney of the Western District of Missouri.
Hunting faces a sentence of up to 26 years in federal prison without parole plus a fine up to $850,000. Hunting also agreed to pay $265, 775 in restitution to Tracker Marine, according to the plea agreement.
Following an investigation by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation, it was learned that from January 2006 through August 2008, Hunting, as well as the owners of J&M Trucking, Inc., James and Melinda Ivey, of Lebanon, allegedly conspired together to defraud Tracker out of the money, according to the indictment.
During that time, Hunting was a transportation manager at Tracker. During his plea, Hunting admitted to conspiring with the Iveys by inflating purchase orders and shipping invoices. He admitted to aiding them in causing more than 2,550 fraudulent invoices to be submitted to Tracker, which created a total loss of more than $850,000, according to the plea agreement.
Hunting was compensated by the Iveys with a portion of the generated revenue. Hunting admitted in the plea agreement hat he had received $265,775 for his part in the alleged scheme.
About every two weeks, Hunting would meet with one or both of the Iveys, usually in a parking lot in Lebanon, and receive his share of the proceeds of the fraud in cash. Hunting allegedly admitted that he claimed the payments on his federal tax return as income from a catering business, which was false, according to the plea.
The Iveys also together face charges of fraud and money laundering conspiracy, nine counts of wire fraud and one count each of making false statements to federal agents. James Ivey also faces an additional 10 counts of wire fraud, according to the federal indictment.