EAST ST. LOUIS – When Ricki Lee "Rick" Jones of Wood River pleaded guilty last week to cheating on federal income taxes, he also admitted to cheating BP Amoco North America.
His Jan. 22 plea agreement requires restitution of $1,207,415.82 to BP Amoco, on top of a promise to pay $2.4 million in federal income taxes for 2002 through 2005.
Jones stipulated that his company, Triad Industries, received money from BP Amoco to clean up refinery pollution but spent it in other ways.
"The client paid the invoices that it received from Triad, but the client was not aware that it was being billed for construction work that Triad performed for Defendant and others," the stipulation stated.
Jones provided documents to his accountant indicating that Triad invoiced BP Amoco for construction work that Triad and subcontractors performed, it stated.
"In fact, much of the work for which Triad billed the client was actually work performed by Triad and its subcontractors for the personal benefit of Defendant and others rather than for the client," it stated.
BP Amoco removed Triad from the cleanup in 2005, after soil tests revealed pollution at locations BP Amoco had paid Triad to clean.
Jones must pay restitution to BP Amoco on the day of his sentencing, now set for April 23 before U.S. District Judge Phil Gilbert.
Jones faces up to five years in prison, but he can earn a shorter stretch.
"Defendant will cooperate fully with the United States," the plea agreement begins.
For "complete and total cooperation," prosecutors can recommend a reduced sentence.
He has already made a positive impression.
"Defendant has voluntarily demonstrated a recognition and affirmative acceptance of personal responsibility for this criminal conduct," the agreement states.
It requires his testimony before any grand jury or at any trial on all criminal activity he knows about, whether it involved him or not.
Besides that, he must do any reasonable thing to help U.S. attorneys or law enforcement agents investigate criminal activities.
His obligation to cooperate covers his knowledge of criminal activity in areas including but not limited to the entire nation.
The agreement warns that if Jones doesn't cooperate, "the United States is completely released from any obligation arising from this agreement and the Defendant is subject to full prosecution and punishment for any crime known to the Government at this time."
They've already let him off the hook for half of his unpaid taxes.
Although Jones pleaded guilty to dodging $1.2 million in 2003 taxes, he admitted he evaded a similar amount before and after 2003.
He promised to pay the full $2.4 million on sentencing day.
For further leverage, prosecutors will seek a fine up to $500,000.
When Jones pleaded guilty, he posted $100,000 bond.
As a condition of release he must maintain or seek employment.
He must surrender his passport, and he can't leave the Southern District of Illinois.
He must avoid all direct or indirect contact with "any person who is or may become a victim or potential witness in the investigation or prosecution."
He can't possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon.
He can drink alcohol, but not to excess, and he can't use illegal
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Clark signed the agreement.
Jones signed it along with attorneys James Martin and William Stiehl Jr.