Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Jacksonville Man Sentenced To 4 Years In $2.1 Million Fraud Scheme
Jacksonville, Florida – United States District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced Andrew A. Rooks (59, Jacksonville) to 48 months in federal prison for his role in two separate conspiracies to commit mail and wire fraud. The Court also entered a forfeiture judgment in the amount of $ 2,187,049. A separate restitution hearing is scheduled for July 5, 2016.
According to court documents, from 2001 until July 2011, Rooks worked for Sea Star Line, LLC, in its Jacksonville office. Sea Star, now called Tote Maritime Puerto Rico, transports goods by vessel in interstate and foreign commerce and has operations at the Port of Jacksonville. Rooks last served as the assistant vice president of operations. Beginning no later than November 2005, Rooks authorized the payment of phony invoices submitted on behalf of co-conspirator Keith Beavers. The invoices were for container and equipment decals that were never provided by Sea Star. The total payments Sea Star made to Beavers exceeded $1 million. During the same time period, Rooks also carried on a second conspiracy. He authorized the payment of phony invoices to two companies controlled by co-conspirator Russell Cody. The invoices, totaling more than $1 million, were for inspection and transportation services of Sea Star’s containers and equipment. They were false because those services were never provided by Tiburon Transportation Services and Lancer Logistics, which were front companies that Cody controlled. Instead, Beavers and Cody made kickback payments to Rooks, and to a company Rooks controlled.
After Rooks was terminated by Sea Star, he got a job with another Jacksonville company, TrailerBridge, Inc., and continued the fraud scheme. TrailerBridge paid approximately $107,000 as a result of phony invoices.
Beavers and Cody previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracies.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dale Campion.