Illinois man faces mail fraud, money laundering charges
Adam Bernaix is facing mail fraud and money laundering charges in connection with a scheme involving false invoices submitted to his employer on behalf of a shell company he created and controlled, prosecutors said.
Bernaix, 35, of Edwardsville, earned $350,000 through Trident Management Solutions, the company he created and used to bill companies doing business with his employer, Albert Arno, an HVAC contractor in the city of St. Louis, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri.
He worked as a project manager for Arno, and was able to mark up the invoices of Trident’s clients to Arno, who would then provide the extra money needed for Trident’s clients to pay those bills, prosecutors said.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bernaix’s father-in-law was at some point employed by Trident to perform occasional jobs, but eventually left the company. Bernaix continued to bill Trident clients after that, as well as mark up Arno’s clients for those bills, prosecutors said.
Bernaix pleaded guilty to two felony counts of mail fraud and two felony counts of money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 25.
If convicted, Bernaix faces up to 20 years of imprisonment on each of the two mail fraud counts, up to 10 years of imprisonment on each of the two money laundering counts, and fines of up to $250,000. Restitution for the victims also will be sought, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.