Greenwood man sentenced to 41 months for $2.7M embezzlement scheme

A former project manager accused of defrauding one of the city’s largest construction contractors has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday morning.

Troy L. Sissom, 53, Greenwood, was sentenced after prosecutors charged him in September with fraud and making a false tax return during his employment with F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. as a project manager. He agreed to plead guilty to the charges in September.

The 12-year embezzlement scheme cost Wilhelm more than $2.7 million and the Internal Revenue Service roughly $381,000, the attorney’s office said.

The charges stem from Sissom’s creation in 2003 of a corporation named LTEE Source. He rented a commercial mailbox under that name, created false invoices in the name of LTEE and submitted them to the accounting department at Wilhelm for payment, U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler said.

The invoices were for materials purported to have been for construction projects supervised by Sissom. Wilhelm would mail the checks for payment of the fraudulent invoices to Sissom’s mailbox. He then would deposit the checks into an account he opened under the LTEE name and use the money for personal purposes, Minkler said.

Sissom continued the practice through 2015.

“Internal theft costs all consumers through higher prices on goods and services,” Minkler said in a written statement. “Fraud, tax evasion, and other white-collar crimes are offenses which ultimately take money out of the pockets of hard-working Hoosiers, and such crimes will be aggressively prosecuted by this office.”

Sissom also is required to serve two years of supervised release, make full restitution to Wilhelm and pay the entire tax liability to the government.

Sissom started his 16-year career at Wilhelm in August 2000, according to his profile on LinkedIn. He worked on projects for clients such as Eli Lilly and Co., Indiana University and the University of Indianapolis.

With $564 million in local billings last year, Wilhelm ranked as the Indianapolis-area’s second-largest construction contractor, according to IBJ statistics.

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