Former St. Louis Executive of Chicago-Area Company Sentenced to Four Years in Prison in $3.9 Million Invoicing Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 13, 2013|
CHICAGO—A former vice president of a company that was based in west suburban Downers Grove was sentenced today to four years in federal prison for a fraudulent invoicing scheme in which he obtained more than 100 company checks totaling more than $3.9 million and stole the money for himself. The defendant, Steven M. Brazile, used a portion of the stolen funds to operate a classic car business. He had pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of fraudulently obtained securities last July in U.S. District Court.
Brazile, 52, of St. Louis, was a vice president in the victim company’s St. Louis office where he managed the information technology functions in that office. Brazile was also ordered to pay $3,902,880 in restitution and forfeiture and to begin serving his 48-month sentence on January 7, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo.
Brazile also agreed to forfeiture of approximately $375,000 in funds that were seized or will be turned over from various bank and brokerage accounts, as well as 24 automobiles including classic cars, approximately $180,000 in proceeds from the sale of several classic automobiles, and a commercial property he owned in St. Louis.
Brazile, who had authority to approve company payments to vendors up to $100,000, admitted that between December 2006 and December 2009, he approved false invoices purporting to be from vendors for goods and services that were never provided to the corporation. He caused the company to issue approximately 104 checks totaling slightly more than $3.9 million. Brazile took those checks and stole the proceeds by depositing them into a bank account he controlled in the name Steve’s Classic Cars, a business he owned to buy and restore classic automobiles.
The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah E. Streicker.
The case falls under the umbrella of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement, who working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. 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.