Visalia man pleads guilty to defrauding IRS

Scott Carlton of Visalia is last of three defendants to plead guilty to supplying unqualified armed guards to IRS in Fresno

@TheSunGazette

FRESNO — A Visalia man could face fines up to half a million dollars for lying to the IRS, and it wasn’t about his taxes.

On Dec. 10, Scott T. Carlton, 49, of Visalia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government and making a false statement. According to U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott, Carlton was an employee of E&A Protective Services, which had the government contract to supply 24-hour-a-day armed security guards to the IRS’s Fresno campus, a national center for processing federal tax returns. When it became apparent that many of the guards could not achieve the firearms shooting score required under the contract, Carlton conspired to falsify scores and supply unqualified guards to the IRS facilities. Over a three-year period, E&A was paid over $2 million on fraudulent invoices submitted to the IRS for security guards who were not qualified to work under that contract.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. McKeon is prosecuting the case.

Two co-defendants have previously pleaded guilty. Matthew L. Cocola, 47, of Clovis, pleaded guilty on Sept. 12, 2016, to making a false statement and was sentenced to a term of probation. Robert J. Bejarano, 49, of Kingsburg, pleaded guilty on Sept. 17, 2018, to conspiracy and making a false statement and is scheduled to be sentenced May 6, 2019.

Carlton is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on March 25, 2019. Carlton faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy, and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for making a false statement. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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