GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (CBS4) — A judge last week ordered a 44-year-old Fruita man to forfeit three pickup trucks, an SUV, two jet skis, a boat and trailer, and repay nearly two million dollars to his former business partner – in addition to serving 41 months in federal prison for wire fraud.
Cory Thompson began serving his prison term immediately following his sentencing hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Grand Junction.
Thompson joined in a business partnership with a person only identified as “K.B.” in the grand jury indictment. The two created a company called DACK Energy Services, LLC, which conducted maintenance services for oil and gas companies in Colorado and surrounding areas.
Thompson, as the company’s operating partner, was solely responsible for managing work production, hiring employees, procuring equipment, and establishing contracts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Colorado described in a press release.
His partner, K.B., provided investment capital for the business.
Prosecutors alleged that Thompson wrote and submitted fake invoices to his partner for two years (January 2014 to January 2016) and received $1.4 million in payments for work that was never performed.
“While some of these invoices represented legitimate work performed by DACK,” the indictment reads, “many of the invoices Thompson submitted to K.B. and the DACK accountant were completely fabricated and did not represent any future income DACK would receive. In several instances, Thompson had not established any sort of business relationship at all with the companies identified in the fabricated invoices.”
Using the invoices as proof of revenue, Thompson also convinced K.B. to borrow $1.25 million and re-invest it into the company.
Meanwhile, Thompson added friends and family members to the company’s payroll. They did little if any work for the company, according to the indictment.
This in addition to what prosecutors described as Thompson’s own “lucrative” salary.
The grand jury produced its indictment in 2019. It charged Thompson with 15 counts of fraudulent activity.
In March 2020, Thompson reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, and pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud.
U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello ordered Thompson to pay more than $1.9 million in restitution in addition to surrendering the numerous property items.
“The sentence handed down in this case rightly holds Mr. Thompson accountable for defrauding his business partner of millions of dollars that went to support a lavish lifestyle,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider of the Denver Division.