Trucking Couple Indicted in $4 MILLION Invoicing Fraud Scheme
Atlanta, GA – A Texas couple has been indicted on fraud charges after U.S. Department of Justice officials say they “allegedly stole millions of dollars through a false invoicing scheme” involving their trucking company.
Last month, April Thompson, 41, and James Thompson, 46, both of Maud, TX, were indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly defrauding an Atlanta timberland investment company, Forest Investment Associates (FIA), out of more than four million dollars.
According to court documents, April worked on behalf of a company named Kingwood Forestry Services that provided services to timber properties in various states.
At Kingwood, April managed invoices submitted to FIA and requested payments to contractors.
The indictment alleges that from 2011 through April 2019, April billed FIA for over $4 million for work that James and his trucking company, James Thompson Trucking, had allegedly done for FIA timber properties.
However, prosecutors say these invoices were all fraudulent as James had never been an FIA or Kingwood contractor and never did any work on behalf of the timber properties.
According to the indictment,
The defendants took a number of steps to hide their involvement in the fraud scheme. For instance, as the Kingwood accounts manager, April Thompson knew how much money FIA had budgeted for each timber property. The defendants used this knowledge to keep any fraudulent invoices within the allotted budget, thereby allowing them to escape detection.
As a result of these allegedly fraudulent invoices, the Thompsons received over $4 million, officials say.
FIA sued the Thompsons in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas in May and filed an amended complaint in June.
Both the civil suit and federal indictment allege that the Thompsons used the money they allegedly stole to build a house and swimming pool, fund James Thompson Trucking and James Thompson Racing, as well as finance a lavish lifestyle.
A receiver has been appointed in the civil case to oversee the Thompson’s assets though FIA claims the Thompsons have repeatedly violated court orders.
In fact, according to a recent report, U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III said the couple “brazenly” violating a court order prohibiting them from liquidating assets.
The Thompsons are currently free on bond.