Former Washington Court House City Council member Trent Dye pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to crimes related to defrauding his former employer of nearly $400,000.
According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Dye, 47, was employed as the general manager of Paramount Freight Systems, LCC (PFS) — a Jeffersonville trucking company — between 2008 and 2016. Between 2013 and 2016, Dye reportedly devised a scheme to defraud funds from PFS by submitting false invoices through his shell company, DW Recruiting, in order to take advantage of PFS’s third-party recruitment program. Through the recruitment program, approved recruiters could earn an $800 referral fee for each driver PFS hired based on the recruiter’s referral.
“Dye falsely represented that DW Recruiting was entitled to commissions for the recruitment of drivers who had not been recruited, who had never worked for Paramount Freight Systems, or who did not exist at all,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman. “Then he approved the payment of the invoices to his shell company, and PFS made the payments to a bank account that he established.”
In total, Dye defrauded PFS of $399,200 through the submission of more than 200 false invoices, according to Glassman. In addition, Dye filed false income tax returns with the IRS for the 2013-16 income tax years, resulting in a total tax loss of $162,494.
Dye pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count each of wire fraud and filing a false income tax return with the IRS. He has agreed to pay $399,200 in restitution to Paramount Freight Systems and $162,494 in restitution to the IRS.
Wire fraud is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and filing a false income tax return is punishable by up to three years in prison.
Dye’s sentencing date has not been set. The pre-sentence investigation report in this case is due Aug. 22 and sentencing will occur sometime after that date.
Dye resigned from Washington City Council Dec. 14, 2016 after a civil suit was filed against him by Paramount Freight Systems.
“Trent Dye held a very important position of trust and he abused that trust for his own personal greed,” said Ryan L. Korner, special agent in charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. “Not only did he line his own pockets with stolen referral program dollars, he now owes the IRS for not reporting the stolen money.”
Glassman commended the investigation of this case by IRS Criminal Investigation and the FBI, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Ebunoluwa A. Taiwo, who is prosecuting the case.