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Gas Fraud Sentencing
Wednesday, 20 October 2010

October 20--  ROBERT MICHAEL CLARK, 31, of Folkston, Georgia, was sentenced yesterday by Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to 10 years in prison and 3 years of supervised release for his role in fraud occurring at the Cisco Travel Plaza I, Cisco Travel Plaza II, and Cisco Express gas stations in Camden County, Georgia.

             United States Attorney Edward Tarver stated, “Thousands of consumers lost millions of dollars in this gas-fraud scheme that also involved the bribery of public officials.  For years, customers of the Cisco stations thought they were getting a deal; instead, they were ripped off at the pump.  This case should serve as warning to would-be fraudsters that if you steal from consumers in this District, you will receive a full tank of justice. ”

             CLARK, a manager of one of the Cisco Stations, was indicted by a federal grand jury in September 2008 on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud.  Also indicted was the owner of the stations, Fairley Leslie Cisco, Cisco’s nephew, Winston Eric Cisco, and two other managers, Regina Dianne Cheung Pierce and Britt Clinton Moore.  The evidence demonstrated that these defendants conspired to mis-calibrate the unleaded and diesel pumps at the Cisco Stations to deliver less fuel than customers believed they were purchasing; to substitute regular unleaded gasoline for premium and mid-grade gasoline at the Cisco Stations; to bribe inspectors with the Georgia Department of Agriculture in charge of inspecting fuel pumps at the Cisco Stations; to substitute and sell non-BP unleaded gasoline at the Cisco Station which displayed BP registered trademarks; and to make false statements to federal law enforcement officers investigating the alleged criminal activities.  In the years 2005 and 2006 alone, customers of the Cisco Stations were defrauded out of at least $7 million as a result of the defendants’ fraud. 

            Defendant Fairley Leslie Cisco died a month before he was scheduled to go to trial.  Winston Eric Cisco earlier pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony and received 12 months imprisonment.  Pierce and Moore earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy and received 18 and 27 months imprisonment, respectively.  Clark’s sentencing yesterday concluded the case.

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