Published Date Written by Staff ReportMatthew J. LaForge, 38, of Brunswick, pled guilty Wednesday to mail fraud and income tax evasion charges in a case related to fraudulent billing to Wright Express and L.L. Bean, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
Court records reveal that while employed by Wright Express from 2006 to 2008, LaForge fraudulently billed Wright Express, and was paid, about $231,000 for marketing services supposedly rendered by a fictitious company,
LaForge had the payments sent to a mailbox he opened in New Hampshire. After leaving employment with Wright Express, LaForge went to work as a financial analyst for L.L. Bean. From 2009-2011, he fraudulently billed L.L.Bean, and was paid, about $220,000 for marketing services supposedly rendered by the same fictitious company, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II said. LaForge had the payments sent to the same New Hampshire mailbox.
LaForge also failed to report any of the illicit income on his federal income tax returns for the years 2006-2010, resulting in over $89,000 in unpaid income taxes, Delahanty said.
The plea was entered in U.S. District Court in Portland before U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen. LaForge faces up to 20 years in prison on the two mail fraud charges, up to five years on the tax evasion charge, and fines of up to $250,000 on each charge.
LaForge has agreed to pay full restitution to the victim companies and their insurers and to the Internal Revenue Service, Delahanty said. He will be sentenced after completion of a pre-sentence report by the U.S. Probation Office. He was released by the court on personal recognizance pending his sentencing.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the IRS — Criminal Investigation.