Co-Conspirators Sentenced for Stealing over $1.8 Million in Fake Billing Scheme
RALEIGH, N.C (STL.News) Three defendants were sentenced today for conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States in connection with a fraudulent invoicing scheme that targeted Baker Roofing Company (BRC). Defendants were ordered to pay restitution of $1,850,442 to the company and received the following sentences:
George William Garven, of Clemson, South Carolina, was sentenced to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
Robert Andrew Helms, of Indian Trail, North Carolina, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and three years of supervised release.
William Russell Davis, of Waxhaw, North Carolina, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and three years of supervised release.
“These defendants, all of whom are well-educated, successful businessmen, used their positions of privilege to enrich themselves at the victim’s expense,” commented United States Attorney Michael Easley. “Like many white collar offenders, their choices were not born of desperation, but of greed.
They thought they were above the law—but today the law caught up with them. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners work tirelessly to ensure that those who cheat Eastern North Carolina businesses face consequences in federal court.”
According to court documents and other information presented in court, the victim, BRC, hired Garven in 2011 to serve as the Vice President and General Manager of its Charlotte branch office. In 2014, Helms and Davis partnered together to provide roofing subcontracting services to BRC through Davis’s business, R&K Davis Holdings (R&K). Between 2015 and 2020, R&K was used as a vehicle to fraudulently bill BRC for subcontracting work that was never performed. Among other things, Garven obligated BRC to pay R&K by generating fake invoices and subcontracts in R&K’s name.
The criminal proceeds, were funneled into business bank accounts controlled by Helms and Davis and then disbursed to Garven in various forms, including gift cards and checks. The checks included fraudulent memo lines to make it appear they were related to legitimate business. Garven also directed Helms and Davis to use the embezzled funds to pay contractors to perform work on Garven’s residential properties. In furtherance of the scheme, Garven paid Helms and Davis each approximately $140,000 in cash.
Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Charlotte Field Office, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam F. Hulbig prosecuted the case.