United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh announced that Gregory Thomas Holland, 64, of Roanoke, Virginia, and a former American Electric Power (AEP) employee, was sentenced Friday to 36 months in federal prison for wire fraud and filing false tax returns.
“For almost three decades, Gregory Holland was trusted to manage the accounts of American Electric Power customers. However, instead of living up to that trust, Holland betrayed it and stole more than $1.6 million dollars,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said. The “sentence reflects the seriousness of Holland’s crimes and demonstrates that the prosecution of white-collar crime is one of my Office’s highest priorities. Our dedicated team is determined to work together with federal law enforcement to bring justice on behalf of the victims of fraud in Western District of Virginia.”
“Gregory Holland exploited his position of trust to enrich himself and spend his company’s money to support an excessive lifestyle while not reporting the stolen income to the IRS,” said Darrell Waldon, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Washington D.C. Field Office. “Our special agents will continue to work with our law enforcement officers to follow the money trail and seek out those who don’t pay their fair share of taxes.”
According to court documents, Holland was employed at AEP for over 35 years and was responsible for managing AEP’s interests during customer bankruptcies, including filing claims on behalf of AEP as well as processing and collecting customer payments.
In 2001, unbeknownst to anyone else in the company, Holland opened a personal checking account using AEP’s name and address. Between May 2002 and January 2018, Holland admitted to depositing hundreds of checks intended for AEP into this account and used the money for numerous personal expenses, including membership dues at the Roanoke Country Club, lake house payments, car payments, clothing purchases.
In addition, Holland did not report any of this stolen income on his IRS Form 1040 Individual Income Tax Returns for tax years 2011 through 2017. The court determined Friday the total loss to AEP customers to be $1,616,591, with an additional $88,254 loss to the IRS.
The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the United States Secret Service, and the Virginia State Police investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Baudinet prosecuted the case.