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Waynesburg man pleads guilty to federal mail fraud, tax evasion

Madasyn Czebiniak
| Thursday, May 24, 2018, 4:54 p.m.
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A Waynesburg man pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud and tax evasion after engaging in a scheme to defraud his former employer and use thousands of company dollars to pay for personal expenses, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said Thursday.

Kevin C. Conklin, 56, pleaded guilty to two counts before U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone.

Conklin is the former operations and financial manager of Aleppo-based Mountain Energy Co. Ltd., an energy company that operated oil and natural gas wells in Western Pennsylvania. As part of his employment, he oversaw the day-to day operations and managed the financial matters of Mountain Energy.

Prosecutors said Conklin engaged in the scheme from January 2008 through December 2012. During that time, he used checks drawn on Mountain Energy's business bank account to pay for personal expenses, including payments for his home, personal credit card bills, college tuition for his daughter, an engagement ring for his son, and automobile payments for a personal vehicle.

Conklin also falsely recorded the payee information and purpose of the checks that he used for his personal expenses in the company's financial database, and hid the expenditure of Mountain Energy's funds to pay for his personal expenses from the company's tax preparer and the Internal Revenue Service.

Conklin's sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 4. He faces a maximum total sentence of 25 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary McKeen Houghton and Paul E. Hull are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4702, mczebiniak@tribweb.com, or on Twitter @maddyczebstrib.

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