Three men have been charged with falsifying firearm shooting scores and supplying unqualified security guards to Fresno’s Internal Revenue Service office, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said.
Scott L. Carlton, 46, of Visalia, Robert J. Bejarano, 46, of Kingsburg and Matthew L. Cocola, 44, of Fresno, are charged with conspiracy to defraud the government. Carlton and Bejarano were arrested Friday at their homes and Cocola surrendered to the U.S. Marshals Service at the federal courthouse in Fresno.
IRS’s Fresno office processes federal tax returns and E&A Protective Services, where Carlton and Bejarano worked, was contracted to supply 24-hour-a-day armed security guards. Cocola was a certified firearms instructor doing business as Security Solutions of California & The Praetorian Diversified Institute in Clovis.
Court documents say that the three men falsified firearms shooting scores that security guards must meet as required under contract.
Many of the guards couldn’t get the scores needed, so Carlton, Bejarano and Cocola conspired to falsify scores and supply unqualified guards to the IRS facilities, Wagner said. Over a three-year period, E&A was paid over $2 million on fraudulent invoices submitted to the IRS for security guards who were not qualified to work under that contract.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy to defraud the government and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of false statements.