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Local man sentenced in fraud case

U.S. Western District Courthouse
Posted at 2:12 PM, Feb 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-15 15:12:40-05

A local man has been sentenced to home detention and probation for his part in an alleged seven-year conspiracy to steal money from a drilling company located in Scott.

John M. Richard was sentenced to 5 years of probation, with 5 months of home detention. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $2,658,931.73 to the company involved.

Richard and another man pleaded guilty in the case, which an indictment alleges stole more than $2.5 million from the drilling company. Donald Vincent was a shop foreman for the company, and Richard owned a business that sold small parts to the company.

Vincent died a few months after pleading guilty.

The indictment against the two men, which was filed April 2021, alleges that the two men had worked out a scheme to have Richard's business bill the drilling company for parts that were never sold. Richard's business then issued checks to Vincent, as they were splitting the money. The indictment alleges that the thefts occurred between 2011 and 2017.

Vincent pleaded guilty in October 2021 to the first count of the indictment, Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. But he died in January 2022, and so the case against him was closed and dismissed.

Richard pleaded guilty to Misprison of a Felony, in other words he admitted that he had knowledge that wire fraud was being committed but didn't tell FBI agents about it when they questioned him as part of their investigation into the thefts. According to court documents, mere failure to report a crime doesn't constitute a crime.

"You must have committed some affirmative act designed to conceal the fact that a federal felony had been committed," court records state.