A former Evansville resident who worked as the business manager of a Carmi, Illinois, oil and gas company was sentenced for his role in what U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler calls a massive fraud scheme.
Kent W. Cutchin, 62, Gilbertsville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to possessing forged securities, money laundering and filing false tax returns and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.
“White collar crime affects all of us in the form of higher product costs and lost tax revenue,” said Minkler. “This sentence is a strong message to those who feel like they are above the law to think again.”
Minkler says Cutchin was the office manager for R Energy, a company headquartered in Carmi, Illinois which performs oil and gas field services in multiple states, including Indiana.
He says Cutchin was responsible for paying bills, maintaining office payroll, ordering supplies, and purchasing inventory.
Between December 2011 and February 2015, officials say Cutchin forged the signature of R Energy’s company president on over 500 checks.
They say he wrote the checks to himself and purchased items for his personal use.
Officials say the money was used to make improvements on his Evansville home and to purchase an all-terrain utility vehicle.
They say the amount of theft equaled approximately $837,251.
“Mr. Cutchin filed three false federal tax returns to conceal his illegal income from the IRS. No matter what the source of income, all income is taxable,” said Gabriel Grchan, IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge. “The prosecution of individuals who intentionally conceal income and evade taxes is a vital element of the IRS' enforcement strategy."
“For years, Cutchin enriched himself by abusing his position and the trust of his company by stealing thousands of dollars through a scheme of fraud and deceit, said Grant Mendenhall, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Indianapolis Field Office. “Today’s sentence is a testament to the dedication of the special agents, analysts and prosecutors who work tirelessly to bring white collar criminals to justice.”
According to Assistant United States Attorney Kyle M. Sawa, who prosecuted this case for the government, Cutchin must make full restitution to his former employer and repay over $237,000 to the IRS.