HOUSTON AREA ACFE CHAPTER
UNITED LOCALLY TO FIGHT FRAUD GLOBALLY
The Houston ACFE Chapter supports its members, the community, students and anti-fraud professionals by recognizing and awarding them for their contributions, achievements and dedication to the fight against fraud. The following list are those individuals and organizations that have been presented awards from the Houston ACFE Chapter.
The Houston Area Certified Fraud Examiner of the Year Award is presented to a Houston Area CFE who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of fraud examination. Nominees are evaluated based on their contributions to the ACFE, The Houston ACFE Chapter, to the profession, and to the community.
Randy Plath, CPA, CFE
Randy is a Houston ACFE Chapter member with over 30 years of service to the anti-fraud profession including experience in in accounting, auditing , and operational experience in Fortune 500 organizations. Randy embodies the principles of of civility, respect, and mentorship and is always available to assist any of the Houston chapter members in a myriad of situations armed with an incredible wealth of experience, a warm smile, and firm handshake.
Randy is the Vice President of Business Development at Revenew International and spent the majority of his career in various roles at Marathon Oil Company in Houston, Texas. He is a licensed CPA in the state of Louisiana and a Certified Fraud Examiner.
Special Agent William Ponder Jr. was selected for his work in the investigation and conviction of several individuals involved in a $21.8 million kickback scheme. The investigation disclosed that George Tompkins, the pharmacist and owner of Piney Point Pharmacy, and his wife Marene Tompkins operated the pharmacy. Mr. Tompkins, who referred to himself as the “Compound King,” and his business partner Anoop Chaturvedi, hatched a scheme to generate compounded pain medication prescriptions which were billed to DOL-OWCP. In return for kickback payments Jeff Rose, owner of Team Work Ready, would refer patients from his clinic with prescriptions signed by his physician, Dr. James Key, who also benefited from the scheme. Mr. Tompkins and Chaturvedi created a shell company, Wellington Advisors, to funnel money to themselves while hiding the source of the payments. Mrs. Tompkins played a critical role in laundering the illegal payments through Wellington Advisors. Dontrey Eason, a marketer, also facilitated the scheme by funneling kickback payments through his companies, Brand Elements and Compounded Elements. As a result of this scheme, $21.8 million in fraudulent claims were submitted to the US Department of Labor.
In November 2017, search warrants were executed on multiple email accounts to obtain evidence of fraud and in May 2018 a seizure warrant was executed to seize $91,000 in proceeds from one of conspirators, Anoop Chaturvedi. As a result of the overwhelming evidence, all of the conspirators except one, George Tompkins, eventually cooperated with the government and entered guilty pleas.
On June 11, 2018, Dontrey Eason entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks.
On November 28, 2018, a grand jury in Houston, TX, handed down an indictment charging George Tompkins, Marene Tompkins, Anoop Chaturvedi, and Dr. James Key with 17 counts of health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.
On January 3, 2020, Marene Tompkins entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy and agreed to forfeit $1 million in fraud proceeds.
On February 28, 2020, Ligia Gutierrez, the lead pharmacy technician at Piney Point, entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickback payments.
Dr. James Key died shortly after indictment and Anoop Chaturvedi is currently a fugitive and believed to have fled the country.
On March 2, 2020, the criminal trial of George Tompkins, the sole remaining defendant, began in Houston, TX. Cooperating defendants Jeff Rose, Dontrey Eason, and Ligia Gutierrez testified for the government as to their role in the fraud scheme, as well as Christine Craighead, the office manager of another clinic paying kickbacks to Piney Point, Union Treatment Centers (UTC). A senior OWCP claims examiner testified that the overwhelming majority of Piney Point patients received compounded medications. A medical expert testified that the compounded creams were of little to no medical value and were formulated solely to achieve the maximum payment from DOL-OWCP. Two former patients of TWR testified that the pain creams they received from Piney Point Pharmacy were of no value. Additionally, an undercover USPS-OIG agent who posed as an injured Postal employee testified that she continued to receive the pain creams from Piney Point long after she stopped receiving treatment at TWR. A USPS-OIG financial expert, Charles Holland, testified that the shell companies created by the defendants served no purpose other than laundering the proceeds of fraud.
On March 10, 2020, the jury returned a guilty verdict against George Tompkins for all 17 counts charged in the indictment. On June 30, 2020, George Tompkins was sentenced to ten years incarceration and ordered to pay restitution of $12.3 million to DOL-OWCP. His wife, Marene Tompkins, was sentenced to 30 days home confinement and promptly paid $950,000 in restitution to the court. Eason, Gutierrez, and Craighead are awaiting sentencing. The final defendant, Anoop Chaturvedi, is currently a fugitive.
This case was successfully investigated by the US Postal Service OIG joining with their partners from the US Department of Labor (DOL) OIG, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) OIG, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) OIG, IRS Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Criminal Division, Healthcare Fraud Strike Force, which lead the prosecution team.
Oscar J. Harvin, PhD, CPA, CFE
Oscar Harvin is an assistant professor of accounting at Sam Houston State University. Dr. Harvin obtained his PhD from Florida Atlantic University and is a certified public accountant as well as a certified fraud examiner. He plans to create an interdisciplinary certificate of fraud examination program that will supplement the education of accounting, criminal justice and computer science college students. His academic research examines the various factors that impair the ability of auditors to detect occupational and financial statement fraud. Another objective of his research is to inform both academicians and practioneers of the various fraudulent schemes that are being conducted by criminals.
He has over two decades of auditing and fraud related professional experience. His expertise in conducting investigations from a financial perspective was developed during his many years as a Special Agent with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. During his years as a special agent, he investigated crimes that involve tax fraud, Ponzi schemes, child pornography, domestic terrorism, illegal drugs, money laundering and other criminal activities. Professor Harvin leverages his vast professional experiences to prepare students for careers that involve fraud examination such as auditors, investigators, cyber security, law enforcement and other fraud related careers.
Kyle Weber, Suprevisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Kyle Weber currently serves as a Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) in the White Collar Crime Branch of the FBI in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, SSA Weber oversees a squad of agents who investigate money laundering, bank fraud, antitrust violations, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and other financial-related crimes. Prior to coming to Houston, SSA Weber worked at FBI Headquarters where he oversaw and helped lead certain aspects of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Program. As a field agent, SSA Weber investigated numerous federal criminal violations including public corruption, money laundering, healthcare fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, antitrust, and more. SSA Weber also spent five years on an FBI SWAT team and is a Certified Tactical Instructor and Firearms Instructor. Prior to joining the FBI, SSA Weber worked as a Financial Center Manager for a Fortune 500 financial institution. SSA Weber holds a Masters of Science in Accountancy, a Bachelors of Business Administration with a major in Accounting, a minor in International African Studies, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
The Houston Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Fraud Impact Award is presented to the individual who made outstanding, significant contributions to the worldwide effort to prevent, deter, or detect fraud. The fraud fighter must have played an important role in a significant fraud matter. In the spirit of the Houston Chapter slogan United Locally to Fight Fraud Globally, the winner must reside in the Houston Combined Statistical Area, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, Waller, Chambers, Austin, San Jacinto, Walker, and Matagorda counties. This award is not necessarily awarded annually.
Recognition from the Houston Area ACFE Chapter President to individuals who have had a significant impact on the chapter.
This award is presented by the Chapter President to the Executive Team as a thank you for leadership and dedication to the award-winning Houston ACFE Chapter at the end of their normal elected term.
The CFE Exam awards are presented to chapter members who take and successfully pass the CFE exam.
Every year, the ACFE holds the Annual Global Fraud Conference which is the largest anti-fraud conference in the world. To encourage our chapter members to attend the Global Fraud Conference, the Houston Chapter Board selects a limited number of members and provides a financial award to offset related registration and travel expenses.
This award is granted to the dedicated chapter members who have shown a commitment to not only the ACFE profession but to the local chapter. The awards are granted at the Boards discretion.
| Rika Waldrop||Steven Garner || Charles Cummings|
|Robert Adams||Dennis Arnie||Robert "Bob" Barr||Larry Beall||Cecelia Bishop|
|John Bovaird||Tom Castiglione||Tom Cothran||A.J. Dyck||Elvis Foster|
|Jim Garcia||Joseph S. Gardella||Kent Gee||James Griffing||Monir Ibrahim|
|Richard W. Lilliott III||Robert Pierce Malone||Richard Martinez||Mel McQueary||Barry Neff|
|Samuel Ng||D. Patrick O'Dell||Ron Ridley||Stephen Scmoover||Marc Schwartz|
|Pete Simon||Arthur Smiley||Herbert Warner||Terry Whitley||Stephen Wilson|