Garret Sorensen, 42, a former Vice-President of Advertising for USA Drug, entered a plea of guilty today to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.
Sorensen's trial, which was scheduled to begin this morning before United States District Judge Billy Roy Wilson, was delayed while the parties conducted plea negotiations and finalized an agreement. Another 31 counts against Sorensen were dismissed.
Court officials say the fraud charges stem from transactions made by Sorensen between 2005 and 2007.
Further details were revealed in the following news release:
In late 2005, Sorensen, Katherine Sorensen, and Shannon Walters formed Multi-Media Management (MMM), which they represented to be a media placement company. Garret Sorensen then began to funnel all insert and direct mail advertising for USA Drug through MMM.
Sorensen did not notify USA Drug management of his interest in, and operation of, MMM. By funneling the insert and direct mail advertising through MMM, Sorensen was able to make a profit of about $500,000. This was accomplished by overstating insert quantity, billing for inserts that were not placed, and by charging USA Drug an inflated "service fee". In addition, Sorensen included in MMM bills charges for the direct mailing of advertising materials for which no service charges had ever been paid by USA Drug before.
Over $248,000 of the MMM proceeds were dispersed directly to or for the benefit of Garret and Katherine Sorensen. With those funds, the Sorensens purchased, among other things, a boat, a Jeep, a Rolex watch, and a Chevrolet Suburban.
The purchase of the boat from Bradford Marine served as the basis for the money laundering charge to which Sorensen pleaded guilty.