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Bedford Man Charged With Mail Fraud, Money Laundering And Filing False Federal Tax Return
Updated April 16, 2015 7:55 AM
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(EVANSVILLE) - United State Attorney Josh J. Minkler, filed charges Wednesday against 32-year-old Blakely A. Clements, on mail fraud, money laundering and filing a false federal tax return.

Clements, of Bedford was charged after an investigation by the United States Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, and the Indiana State Police.

"Emergency grants are meant to help people get back on their feet after a natural disaster, not line the pockets of public officials," said Minkler. "Those who choose to put personal greed ahead of community need, will face the hammer of federal prosecution."

The charging information alleges that between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2010, Clements participated in a scheme to defraud the Daviess County Long Term Recovery Committee (DCLTRC) and to obtain money by means of false and fraudulent pretenses using the United States Mail.

While acting as the financial director of the DCLTRC, Clements submitted invoices to Non-profit Processing and Accounting Services to comply with conditions of a grant the Committee received from United Way of Indiana. The purpose of the grant was to provide financial assistance to Daviess County victims in repairing flood damage.

Clements allegedly submitted the invoices to benefit flood victims when in fact the expenditures were made to acquire home improvement materials and other items for the personal benefit of Clements in the amount of $89,500.

The information further charges Clements with money laundering. In June 2010, Clements allegedly paid his personal Home Depot Citibank credit card using funds obtained from the DCLTRC and deposited a refund check from the credit card into his personal account for $11,352.21.

Finally, Clement is charged with filing a false federal tax return for the year 2010, because he did not report as income any of the funds derived from the DCLTRC.

Special Agent in Charge Steven Boyd stated, "IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to work side by side with the United States Attorney's Office and our federal and state counterparts to follow the money. We have the financial expertise that is critical to locating the money and prosecuting the offenders. All income is taxable and all Americans have a duty to pay their fair share. IRS Criminal Investigation helps ensure that all Americans, including public officials, are held to the same standard."

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Clements faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the mail fraud; a maximum of 10 years in prison for the money laundering, and a maximum term of 3 years in prison for the filing a false tax return.

An initial hearing will be held in Evansville before a U.S. Magistrate Judge at a later date.

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