Fifth person pleads guilty in theft scam at Georgetown plant

Contractor gave false invoices

kward1@herald-leader.comAugust 23, 2011 

A fifth person has pleaded guilty to participating in a scam that robbed the Minova plant in Georgetown of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As part of a plea agreement, Anthony W. Moore pleaded guilty Friday to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Minova is an international company that produces chemicals and equipment for use in underground mining. The Georgetown plant is its North American headquarters.

According to court records, John Tapp, then the company's vice president of operations, began working with other employees in 2006 to get kickbacks from vendors that supplied goods and services to Minova.

Tapp had the authority to negotiate contracts with vendors and authorize payments.

In some cases, vendors inflated their charges, then returned part of the excess payment to Tapp and others, according to court documents.

In other cases, vendors billed the company for work they didn't do and kicked back part of the bogus payments to company insiders, records show.

Moore, who owned Moore's Residential Home Repair and Remodeling, sometimes did factory maintenance and improvement.

Between 2006 and 2009, he and Tapp submitted 15 false invoices totaling $75,000 to Minova for ocean crates that did not exist, according to court records. Tapp got $70,000 back from that.

They also billed Minova for $265,000 for factory maintenance and improvement services, which was $110,000 more than the value of the services that Moore's company performed.

Tapp was fired in December 2009. He pleaded guilty last August and was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and was ordered to pay $776,521 in restitution.

Mikel "Mike" Alexander, who was a plant superintendent at Minova, also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years' probation. He was ordered to pay $148,700 in restitution to the company.

Clifford "Jamie" Bramel Jr., the company's maintenance supervisor, also pleaded guilty. A judge placed him on probation for five years and ordered him to pay $63,960 in restitution.

In June, David L. Fox Sr., a vendor, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Moore is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 18.

Herald-Leader staff writer Bill Estep contributed to this report.

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