Printer Receives Nine Year Sentence for Defrauding State of $1.9 Million, Loses $10,000 Star Wars Collection
A California printer has been sentenced to prison after being found guilty of fraud by the California Department of Justice. Eric Hodgson, owner of Phenix Print & Image, was sentenced to nine years in prison for defrauding the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) out of $1.9 million.
Hodgson's company had been awarded two printing contracts, in 2008 and 2009, totaling more than $1.8 million for print advertisements to be included in California newspapers. An investigation by CalTrans employees found that Hodgson submitted fake invoices for the advertisements and that they were never published as promised
According to California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, the department of justice found that Hodgson used the money to pay off his mortgage, pay for trips for himself and his staff, and purchase toys and comics, including a $10,000 collection of Star Wars memorabilia.
"My office's investigation found that this individual defrauded California taxpayers by failing to do the work he was paid for under his contract with the state," Harris said. "We will aggressively prosecute this case and seek to recover every dollar of the public's money that was misused."
Last week, Hodgson pled guilty to seven of 22 charges of grand theft as part of a plea deal. In addition to the prison sentence, Hodgson will forfeit two homes, two cars, several retirement savings accounts and his Star Wars collection as part of his restitution.