‘Largest Ever’ Texas Tax Fraud Scheme Convicted

SAN ANTONIO, TX. -- Federal prison sentences were recently handed down to three businessmen by Chief District Judge Fred Biery. The three defendants - John Bean, Pat Mire, and Mike Solis - are going to prison for their roles in a $133 million scheme involving numerous co-conspirators. The FBI and IRS conducted the investigations for the case, which is believed to be the largest criminal tax related case ever prosecuted in western Texas.

Bean and Mire both pled guilty to money laundering and mail fraud conspiracy charges. Solis plead guilty only to a mail fraud conspiracy charge. 

The defendants admitted that from 2002 to 2008, they stole more than $133 million from clients of several of the Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) that they owned and operated. The PEOs managed several companies' payroll and insurance programs. Co-conspirators in the scheme stole clients' money that was meant to pay for payroll services, taxes, and insurance fees. Bean, Mire, and Solis were all involved with the San Antonio-based PEO called Synergy Personnel.

Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse said, "Motivated by greed, the defendant perpetrated an extensive fraud scheme designed to steal money from their clients and taxpayers over a number of years."

Bean was part owner, license holder and accountant of Synergy Personnel. He was sentenced to six years in federal prison and three subsequent years of supervision. Bean was ordered to pay more than $120 million in restitution.

Mire, owner of several San Antonio PEOs including Synergy Personnel, was sentenced to three years in federal prison and three subsequent years of supervision. He was ordered to pay $10 million in restitution.

Solis was the executive assistant of Synergy Personnel and several other PEOs. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison and three subsequent years of supervision.

"The defendants involved in this, the largest ever single criminal tax case in San Antonio’s history, knowingly violated our country’s tax laws," said IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steve McCollough. "They chose to ignore their responsibilities and live a lavish lifestyle on money belonging to their employees and to the U.S. government. IRS special agents will continue to aggressively pursue these types of very serious tax crimes."

Today, hearings were continued for co-conspirators Larry Kimes and Charles Pircher. They both managed PEOs in the San Antonio area and plead guilty to tax fraud charge and a fraud conspiracy charge. Kimes will be sentenced to approximately 30 days and Pircher will be sentenced to approximately 60 days. 

United States Attorney Robert Pitman said, "This was a multi-faceted fraud scheme that victimized companies who relied on the defendants for payroll services, honest workers who relied on insurance coverage, and the taxpayers. At heart, the defendants were clever bandits who covered their tracks with layers of shell corporations and bank accounts and siphoned off monies for their own luxury. The hard work of the investigators and the prosecutor untangled their devious scheme and brought the defendants to justice."

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate


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