US Fidelis founder pleads guilty again

Apr 9, 2012, 8:31 PM

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) – A former owner of what was once among the nation’s largest marketers of auto service contracts pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges, marking his second guilty plea in four days.

Darain Atkinson, 47, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and filing false tax returns. Sentencing is July 12.

The federal charges against Atkinson and his brother Cory Atkinson were announced Thursday, the same day Darain Atkinson pleaded guilty to state theft and fraud charges. Sentencing on the state charges is July 16.

Darain and Cory Atkinson were co-founders of US Fidelis, which collapsed in 2009 amid allegations of consumer fraud. The company filed for bankruptcy in March 2010.

Cory Atkinson faces the same state and federal charges as his brother. His state case is scheduled to go to trial on Sept. 4. A trial date on the federal charges has not been set. Court records do not show an attorney for his federal case and he does not have a listed phone number.

Federal prosecutors accused the brothers of using company funds for personal expenses such as luxury vehicles and million-dollar homes in suburban St. Louis, Lake Tahoe and the Cayman Islands. Authorities say the brothers received more than $71 million from the business and its predecessor from 2006 to 2008.

US Fidelis had been called National Auto Warranty Services and operated under the name “Dealer Services.” It sold more than 400,000 service contracts. Federal prosecutors say the firm used false, deceptive and misleading sales and marketing techniques.

Federal prosecutors say Darain Atkinson also directed employees to fraudulently withhold substantial portions of refunds due to customers who canceled vehicle service contracts and were owned a full or prorated refund.

The company previously reached a settlement with 11 states to bar telemarketing or selling in Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

This image provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Texas death row inmate Ramiro...
Associated Press

Judge: Execution can’t proceed without religious requests

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge has issued a temporary order telling Texas prison officials that they can carry out next week’s scheduled execution of a death row inmate only if they grant all of his religious accommodations, including allowing his spiritual adviser to hold his hand when he receives a lethal injection. Ramiro Gonzales […]
15 hours ago
North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signs an executive order designed to protect abortion rig...
Associated Press

States move to protect abortion from prosecutions elsewhere

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Democratic governors in states where abortion will remain legal are looking for ways to protect any patients who travel there for the procedure — along with the providers who help them — from being prosecuted by their home states. In North Carolina, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order Wednesday […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Indianapolis man pleads guilty to killing mail carrier

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for fatally shooting a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier, prosecutors said Wednesday. Tony Cushingberry, 23, entered the plea in the April 27, 2020, slaying of carrier Angela Summers, 45, in Indianapolis, prosecutors said. Cushingberry was upset about the lack of mail delivery to […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin addresses the court as Hennepin County Judge...
Associated Press

Chauvin faces future in federal prison for Floyd’s death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is about to swap solitary confinement at Minnesota’s only maximum security prison for an unknown future at a federal prison where, despite his national notoriety for killing George Floyd, he’ll probably be safer. Chauvin will be sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul after […]
15 hours ago
Police begin to search the seating area near the stage after two police officers were shot during t...
Associated Press

Bullets that hit police at July 4 show likely fired far away

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bullets that grazed two police officers during a Fourth of July fireworks show in Philadelphia, prompting an evacuation that sent scores of people running from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, came from the same weapon but were probably fired from “quite a distance away,” authorities said. Chief Inspector Frank Vanore of the Philadelphia […]
15 hours ago
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks before members of the state Legislature and others before signing wh...
Associated Press

Governor signs $1.2B water plan as Arizona faces cutbacks

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation Wednesday that will provide $1.2 billion over three years to boost long-term water supplies for the desert state and implement conservation efforts that will see more immediate effects. The legislation that was hammered out over months during the just-completed legislative session is viewed as the most […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
US Fidelis founder pleads guilty again