Three men sentenced to prison, supervised release and ordered to pay more than $1.8 million in connection to fraudulent billing scheme

Published 7:59 am Thursday, May 5, 2022

A South Carolina man and two North Carolina men were sentenced Monday, May 2, 2022 for conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States in connection with a fraudulent invoicing scheme that targeted Baker Roofing Company (BRC), according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

The men were ordered to pay restitution of $1,850,442 to the company and in addition to prison and supervised release sentences.

George William Garven, of Clemson, South Carolina, was sentenced to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

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Robert Andrew Helms, of Indian Trail, North Carolina, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and three years of supervised release.

William Russell Davis, of Waxhaw, North Carolina, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and three years of supervised release.

“These defendants, all of whom are well-educated, successful businessmen, used their positions of privilege to enrich themselves at the victim’s expense,” commented United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley. “Like many white collar offenders, their choices were not born of desperation, but of greed. They thought they were above the law – but today the law caught up with them. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners work tirelessly to ensure that those who cheat Eastern North Carolina businesses face consequences in federal court.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court Garven was hired by BRC in 2011 to serve as the vice president and general manager of its Charlotte branch office. Helms and Davis partnered together in 2014 to provide roofing subcontracting services to BRC through Davis’s business, R&K Davis Holdings (R&K).

“Between 2015 and 2020, R&K was used as a vehicle to fraudulently bill BRC for subcontracting work that was never performed,” stated the release. “Among other things, Garven obligated BRC to pay R&K by generating fake invoices and subcontracts in R&K’s name. The criminal proceeds were funneled into business bank accounts controlled by Helms and Davis and then disbursed to Garven in various forms, including gift cards and checks.

“The checks included fraudulent memo lines to make it appear they were related to legitimate business. Garven also directed Helms and Davis to use the embezzled funds to pay contractors to perform work on Garven’s residential properties,” the release continued. “In furtherance of the scheme, Garven paid Helms and Davis each approximately $140,000 in cash.”

Easley made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Charlotte Field Office, investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam F. Hulbig prosecuted.