A former project manager for one of the Indianapolis’ largest construction contractors has been charged with mail fraud and making a false tax return.
Troy L. Sissom, 52, Greenwood, is alleged to have embezzled nearly $2.7 million from F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. and faces up to 20 years in prison, according to a Thursday announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Indiana.
The charges stem from Sissom’s creation in 2003 of a corporation named LTEE Source. He rented a commercial mailbox under that name, created false invoices in the name of LTEE and submitted them to the accounting department at Wilhelm for payment, U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler said.
The invoices were for materials purported to have been for construction projects supervised by Sissom. Wilhelm would mail the checks for payment of the fraudulent invoices to Sissom’s mailbox. He then would deposit the checks into an account he opened under the LTEE name and use the money for personal purposes, Minkler said.
Sissom continued the practice through 2015.
“Internal theft costs all consumers through higher prices on goods and services,” Minkler said in a statement. “Fraud, tax evasion, and other white collar crimes are offenses which ultimately take money out of the pockets of hard working Hoosiers, and such crimes will be aggressively prosecuted by this office.”
Wilhelm is estimated to have lost more than $2.7 million, while the tax loss to the Internal Revenue Service was $381,000.
Sissom has agreed to plead guilty to both charges and will make full restitution to Wilhelm and pay the entire tax liability to the government, Minkler said. An attorney for Sissom declined to comment.
With $515 million in local billings last year, Wilhelm ranks as the Indianapolis-area’s second-largest construction contractor, according to IBJ statistics.
Wilhelm CEO Phil Kenney told IBJ on Thursday that the company is "fine" and that its insurance is covering the losses. He declined further comment.
Sissom started his 16-year career at Wilhelm in August 2000, according to his profile on LinkedIn. He worked on projects for clients such as Eli Lilly and Co., Indiana University and the University of Indianapolis.