Former AEP Employee, Gregory Thomas Holland Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Tax Charges; Government Estimates Loss of 1.6 million
ROANOKE, VA (STL.News) A former American Electric Power (AEP) employee pleaded guilty yesterday to wire fraud and filing false tax returns.
According to court documents, Gregory Thomas Holland, 63, of Roanoke, was employed at AEP from 1982 until January 2018, where he worked for many years in the credit department. Specifically, Holland was responsible for managing AEP’s interests during customer bankruptcies, filing claims, and reducing debts.
Holland admitted yesterday that in 2001 he opened a personal checking account using AEP’s name and address unbeknownst to anyone else at the company. Beginning in May 2002, Holland began depositing checks into this account, written on behalf of AEP customers, and made payable to AEP. Between May 2002 and January 2018, Holland admitted to depositing more than 300 checks into this account. All the money he deposited into this account belonged to AEP. Nonetheless, Holland used the money from the account for personal expenses such as dues at the Roanoke Country Club, car payments, and clothing purchase, among other things.
Holland did not report any of this additional income on his Form 1040 Individual Income Tax Returns for tax years 2011 through 2017.
In all, it is estimated Holland stole $1.6 million dollars from AEP. The court will determine the exact amount of loss at Holland’s sentencing hearing.
Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar made the announcement today.
Holland pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of willfully filing a false tax return. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 10, 2021 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison . A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The United States Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, and Virginia State Police are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Baudinet is prosecuting the case.