Pensacola businessman ordered to pay $72K in restitution, fines over fake invoices

From staff reports Published 3:48 PM EDT Aug 21, 2020A Pensacola business owner has been sentenced to three ye

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A Pensacola business owner has been sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution and fines on charges of theft of government money and submitting false claims for overpayment to a federal agency.

Gerald Mandel, owner and operator of DLUX Printing in Pensacola, filed approximately nine fraudulent invoices to the U.S. Government Publishing Office that resulted in more than $47,000 of fraudulent payments, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe of the Northern District of Florida.

In addition to probation, the 52-year-old was ordered to pay full restitution and a $25,000 fine, for a total of $72,255.48.

Mandel submitted approximately 115 invoices to the GPO for payment between Jan. 1, 2013, and May 15, 2018. According to the GPO's Office of Inspector General, 33 of those invoices were submitted for direct mail services. Contracts for direct mail services require the contractor to print items for a government agency and then mail the majority of those items directly to individual consumers. 

Prosecutors say Mandel schemed to receive overpayment for direct mail contracts by printing only about half the number of items ordered by the consumer. He then falsified shipping documents to reflect that the orders were actually complete so that he would receive full payment from the GPO. 

Investigators identified 11 shipments containing falsified mailing documents, which Mandel used to file nine fraudulent invoices.

"Gerald Mandel took advantage of the control he had over the direct mail services process to steal almost 50,000 taxpayer dollars from the federal government," said Keefe in a news release issued Friday. "His sentencing today sends a message that we expect, and demand, our government employees and contractors act with integrity and follow the law. Greed will not go unchecked in the Northern District of Florida."
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