US contractor sentenced to six years in prison for $3.1m invoice fraud

A 43-year-old California man has been sentenced to six years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a embezzling $3.1m from hospitality company Beck Group.

Charles Williams conspired with six others to set up shell companies that issued invoices for goods and services that were not supplied to Beck, which was building a Le Méridien hotel in central Houston.

One of the six was Moses Said, 42, of Houston, who was Beck’s construction manager on the project between 2016 and 2017. He approved the false invoices for payment in return for a share in the loot. The fraudsters then tried to conceal the origin of the proceeds by transferring them to other companies and individuals, leading to charges of money laundering as well as wire fraud.

District Judge Vanessa Gilmore ordered Williams to serve six years followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay more than $3m in restitution to Beck Group.

Williams was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Other members of the conspiracy will be sentenced in the future; all pled guilty to the charges

Image: Le Méridien Houston (Le Méridien)

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