Criminal Investigation Division - Protecting Your Taxpayer Dollars
Central Texas Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Motor Fuel Tax Fraud
An investigation conducted by the Texas Comptroller’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) recently led to the arrest and conviction of a Gorman, Texas, man on two counts of motor fuel tax fraud.
An Eastland jury sentenced Rickey Wayne Speer, 42, to 40 years in prison for unlawfully acquiring and selling large amounts of dyed diesel fuel.
“When people break Texas tax laws, they are not cheating the state – they are cheating their fellow Texans,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “It is our responsibility to prosecute those offenders.”
With the assistance of Comptroller’s CID, Eastland County Criminal District Attorney Russ Thomason proved that Speer intentionally or knowingly transported motor fuel to a location without delivering documents relating to the shipment, and that Speer engaged in a motor fuel transaction without being licensed to do so as required by law.
Speer was tried as a habitual felony offender and faced a minimum of 25 years to life in prison as a result of previous felony convictions.
The Eastland and Comanche County Sheriffs' offices also assisted with this investigation.
The mission of the CID is to deter intentional criminal conduct against the state tax laws administered by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Go to the Comptroller’s website for more information about CID’s work.
West Texas Men Sentenced in Federal Court for Their Roles in a Motor Fuel Diversion Scheme
Joe Octavio Granado (above left), 42, of Midland, was sentenced on March 26, 2015, to 33 months in federal prison and 3 years supervised release for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1343/18 U.S.C. 1349, and Juan Antonio Meza (above right), 59, of Odessa, was sentenced on March 26, 2015, to 5 years federal probation for his role. Both defendants previously pleaded guilty to their roles in this scheme. Court documents alleged that Granado, while an employee of SC Fuels, would regularly divert a portion of a fuel order destined for his employer's client to a third party business, Red X Truck Stop. Unaware of the diversion, SC Fuels continued to electronically bill the client for the entire order of fuel and accept wire transfer payment for it. Granado would then sell the diverted load to Red X, owned by Meza. Court documents alleged that over a two and a half year period, Granado received $774,612 from Meza for the fraudulently diverted fuel, and SC Fuel's original client paid $965,142 for the same fuel it never received. Both defendants were ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $965,142 jointly and severally to the victim in the case. The case was investigated by the FBI's Permian Basin Oilfield Theft Task Force and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Texas Comptroller. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas - Midland-Odessa Division as cause number(s) MO14CR-153-01 and MO14CR-153-02.