Brian Kelly

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-Three days after pleading guilty to state charges, one of the brothers who owned bankrupt auto warranty sales firm U.S. Fidelis, has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Darain Atkinson pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and filing false tax returns. According to a plea deal Atkinson admitted that the company used false, deceptive and misleading sales and marketing techniques. He also admitted that he told employees to withhold payments or refunds due customers.Often, according to prosecutors, only customers who complained or threatened action were provided a full refund to which they were entitled.

Atkinson also admitted that he filed a false tax return for the tax year 2006, that failed to include millions of dollars in distributions he received from the company.

Atkinson faces up to eight years in prison when he’s sentenced July 12th. That’s four days before he’s scheduled to be sentenced for theft and fraud in St. Charles County. Prosecutors are seeking eight years in that case.

His brother Cory is to stand trial on the state charges in September.


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