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Former Louisville-based company employees sentenced for social security fraud

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Fraud totaled around $2 million over a 13-year period

 LOUISVILLE – Two former employees of a Louisville, Kentucky, based engineering and construction company were sentenced to prison terms this week, in United States District Court, by Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr., for their roles in a conspiracy to steal government funds and a scheme to defraud the company of approximately $2 million announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

Frank Burks, Jr., 66, and Pamela Duvall, 60, both from New Albany, Indiana, were each sentenced to 36 months in prison, without the possibility of parole, and ordered to pay restitution to be determined at a later date, by Chief Judge McKinley, on April 3, 2017.

According to information presented in court, Burks and Duvall, while employed at RAM Engineering & Construction, Inc., schemed with one and other beginning in around 2001, to steal money from RAM to fund outside business ventures and personal gambling habits.

During the nearly 13-year period of criminal activity, Duvall was employed as a bookkeeper and Burks was employed as an operations manager for the privately owned company. One way they embezzled money from RAM was through general account checks. Duvall was responsible for issuing checks from the general account. As part of the scheme, Duvall issued checks, convinced one of the RAM owners to sign the checks under false pretenses, then made the checks payable to herself, Burks, or another person or entity whose endorsement Duvall or Burks would forge. Also, Burks and Duvall worked together to enable Burks to use his RAM corporate credit card to pay for Burks’ personal expenses.

In addition to their theft from RAM, Burks and Duvall conspired to ensure that Burks could earn income without it affecting his Social Security income by reporting a portion of his income from RAM as non-taxable. As such, Burks was overpaid by the Social Security Administration in the amount of $11,340.

On December 5, 2016, both Burks and Duvall pleaded guilty to conspiracy for theft of government funds, as well as charges of wire fraud and use of a forged security.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Gregory and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).