Energy Company Employee Indicted on Fraud and Tax Charges
PITTSBURGH – A resident of Waynesburg, Pa., has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, impeding and obstructing the Internal Revenue Laws, and income tax evasion, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The seven-count indictment, returned on October 4, named Kevin C. Conklin, 54, as the sole defendant.
According to the Indictment, Conklin was employed by Mountain Energy Company, Ltd., an energy company headquartered in Aleppo Pennsylvania that operated oil and natural gas wells in the Western District of Pennsylvania. As part of his employment, Conklin oversaw the day-to-day operations of Mountain Energy and managed the financial matters of Mountain Energy.
From January 2008 through December 2012, Conklin engaged in a scheme to defraud Mountain Energy and fraudulently obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars of Mountain Energy’s funds. As part of the fraudulent scheme, Conklin used checks drawn on Mountain Energy’s business bank account to pay for personal expenses, including payments for Conklin' s home, personal credit card bills, college tuition for his daughter, an engagement ring for his son and automobile payments for a personal vehicle. Conklin falsely recorded in the financial database of Mountain Energy, the payee information and purpose of the Mountain Energy’s checks used by Conklin for his personal expenses. As part of the scheme, Conklin concealed from Mountain Energy’s tax preparer and the Internal Revenue Service, the expenditure of Mountain Energy’s funds to pay for his personal expenses.
Conklin faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for each of the two counts charging him with wire fraud and mail fraud, a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for the count charging him with impeding and obstructing the Internal Revenue Service, and a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for each of the four counts charging him with income tax evasion. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Mary McKeen Houghton is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.