William “Bart” Monroe, 56, Henderson, Nevada, who was once a vice-president for a Las Vegas home builder, has pleaded guilty to felony fraud charges for stealing about $1.4 million from his former employer over a four-year period. The Defendant pleaded guilty on June 23, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, 11 counts of mail fraud, and one count of tax evasion.
According to the plea agreement, from about March 31, 2004, to July 2008, Monroe engaged in a continuing scheme to defraud his then-employer, Meritage Homes of Nevada, Inc., for whom he was placed in charge of land development. Without disclosing it to his employer, Monroe and two co-conspirators created a business named Silverado Pipe and Supply. Monroe and his co-conspirators then submitted false and fraudulent invoices to Meritage Homes for PVC pipe and other supplies. Monroe knew that the invoices were fraudulent, but he used his authority as vice-president of Meritage to approve them and have payments issued to one of the co-conspirators.
When the co-conspirator received the payments from Meritage Homes, the co-conspirator sent a portion of it in cash to Monroe via Federal Express. Between July 7, 2004, and July 25, 2008, Monroe received 11 payments this way, totaling approximately $1.45 million. Monroe also failed to declare the income on his income tax returns, and for the tax years 2004 to 20087, he owed additional tax of about $568,412, based on the fraud scheme.
Monroe is scheduled to be sentenced on September 27, 2011, and faces up to 20 years in prison on each mail fraud count, up to five years in prison on the tax evasion count, and fines of up to $250,000 on all counts.
Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada announced the guilty plea.
The case is being investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Chu. The investigation was sponsored by President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.