Athens Review, Athens, Texas

December 21, 2012

Athens man gets 41 months in prison for mail fraud

Special to the Review
The Athens Review

Athens — A 56-year-old Athens man was sentenced in Tyler Wednesday to 41 months in prison for mail fraud.

U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis also ordered Mark Eugene Thomas to pay more than $2.5 million in restitution. Thomas pleaded guilty March 7 and could have received up to 20 years in prison for the offense.

Federal prosecutors say from 1998 to 2009, Thomas was employed by Argon Medical Devices, Inc. an Athens-based manufacturer and supplier of specialty medical products utilized in the areas of cardiology, radiology, and critical care.

Prosecutors said from 2004 to 2008, Thomas — while accounting manager for AMD — provided fraudulent data to AMD’s parent corporation and external auditor to make AMD appear more profitable. The deception was in order to secure additional capital investments for AMD and the payment of performance incentives for AMD employees, including Thomas. The fraudulent activity resulted in a financial loss of between $1 million and $2.5 million.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney L. Frank Coan, Jr.

Argon Vice President of  Human Resources Janice Russell was contacted by the Athens Daily Review about the sentencing. She said she had no comment.