San Antonio man sentenced for fraud and tax evasion, ordered to pay $1.4M to IRS

He was also ordered to pay $76,733 in restitution to the fraud victims

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SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution for a fraud scheme and tax evasion.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office on Tuesday said Edward C. Wagner, 60, was sentenced to 18 months in prison due to the scheme that dated back to at least 2007.

From 2007 to 2016, Wagner was the owner and operator of the companies Pharmacogenetics, EcoChem, Leaf 23 and Nutrecs and sought investments in the companies, a news release states.

He had investors from Nevada, Texas and Florida but only used their money — an estimated $645,743 — for his personal use, the release states.

Federal authorities said the companies never “did any amount of significant business” and Wagner did not use the investors’ money for ventures.

Wagner also evaded taxes from 2007 through 2010, the release states. During that time, he accrued $744,186 in unpaid taxes and penalties based on a taxable income of $1,410,112.

“Wagner intentionally disguised his actual income by hiding his sources, using nominee financial institution accounts, dealing extensively in cash and cashier’s checks, and creating a false loan document,” the release states.

He pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion in October. In addition to prison, he was also ordered to pay $76,733 in restitution for the fraud victims and $1,088,258.03 to the IRS.

“Our office remains firmly committed to identifying and prosecuting those who seek to enrich themselves through fraud, whether through false representations to deprive others of money, evading their fair share of taxes, or, as in this case, both,” U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff said in the release.

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.