Largest Ever Tax Fraud Scheme in Western Texas
Sometimes you get caught up in a tough jam, and all you can do is make amends before moving on with the rest of your life. There’s always a human interest story behind the bold headlines, but we rarely get a glimpse of what’s really happening to the defendants and families that have to pay the price. Chief District Judge, Fred Biery, recently handed down federal sentences for the largest ever tax fraud scheme in the history of Western Texas.
Tax Fraud Convictions
The defendants, Pat Mire, John Bean and Mike Solis were found guilty of stealing $133 million in client funds. The stolen funds included money that should have been paid to the Internal Revenue Service. The tax fraud investigation was conducted by FBI and IRS agents.
Mire and Bean entered guilty pleas on money laundering and mail fraud conspiracy charges while Solis confessed to mail fraud conspiracy. The businessmen admitted that they stole millions of dollars from professional clients between 2002 and 2008.
The defendants owned and operated several Professional Employer Organizations, or PEO’s. PEO’s manage the funds of businesses, including the payment of taxes, insurance premiums and payroll services. Mire, Bean and Solis were all associated with Synergy Personnel, a professional employer organization located in San Antonio.
According to FBI special agent, Aaron Rouse, the defendants perpetrated an elaborate fraud scheme to satisfy their greed. John Bean, a part owner of Synergy Personnel, received six years in federal prison and was ordered to pay $120 million in restitution. Mire and Solis received three and two year sentences respectively.
The three federal defendants knowingly violated federal tax law according to Steve McCollough, an IRS agent involved in the case. The investigation revealed that Bean, Mire and Solis lived a lavish lifestyle at the expense of their clients and employees. Additional co-conspirators are also expected to receive federal sentences for participating in the fraud scheme.
Tax fraud investigators indicated that similar tax fraud schemes will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted in the future. United States Attorney, Robert Pitman, described the San Antonio case as a multifaceted scheme to defraud business clients and the federal government. The defendants employed a network of shell corporations and bank accounts to redirect client funds and mislead investigators. Federal agents were only able to untangle the scheme after conducting a long and tedious investigation.
That’s the part of the story we rarely hear about. What will the defendants in the San Antonio tax fraud case do after they have paid their debt to society? They made a mistake, but now it’s time to move on. Happily, many criminal defendants are able to look back at their ordeal and honestly say that the day they were released from confinement was the beginning of better days and bigger dreams.