PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – United States Attorney Lawrence Keefe, of the Northern District of Florida, today announced that Pensacola business owner Gerald Mandel, 52, was sentenced to three years’ probation on federal charges of theft of government money and submitting false claims for overpayment to the United States. Mandel, owner and operator of DLUX Printing, in Pensacola, filed approximately 9 fraudulent invoices to the Government Publishing Office (GPO), an agency of the United States, resulting in over $47,000 of fraudulent payments. In addition to probation Mandel was ordered to pay full restitution as well as a $25,000 fine, for a total of $72,255.48.
“Gerald Mandel took advantage of the control he had over the direct mail services process to steal almost 50,000 taxpayer dollars from the federal government,” said U.S. Attorney Keefe. “His sentencing today sends a message that we expect, and demand, our government employees and contractors act with integrity and follow the law. Greed will not go unchecked in the Northern District of Florida.”
Mandel submitted approximately 115 invoices to GPO for payment between January 1, 2013, and May 15, 2018. According to the GPO’s Office of Inspector General, 33 of those invoices were submitted for direct mail services. Contracts for direct mail services require the contractor to print items for a government agency and then mail the majority of those items directly to individual consumers. Mandel schemed to receive overpayment for direct mail contracts by printing only about half the number of items ordered by the consumer. Mandel then falsified shipping documents to reflect that the orders were actually complete so that he would receive full payment from the GPO. Investigators identified 11 shipments containing falsified mailing documents which Mandel used to file 9 fraudulent invoices.
“The Government Publishing Office, Office of Inspector General is committed to ensuring the integrity of GPO contracts and financial expenditures,” said Inspector General Michael P. Leary. “We take allegations of false claims, overbilling and theft of government funds very seriously and will aggressively investigate these matters to ensure efficiency and effectiveness throughout GPO programs. We appreciate the efforts of the DOJ in pursuing these allegations and will continue our collaboration with the DOJ to investigative those who seek to defraud agency programs.”
Deputy United States Attorney Jeffrey Tharp prosecuted the case after an investigation by the Government Publishing Office, Office of Inspector General.