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    Ex-Shell Exec Sentenced After Stealing

    Former employee gets 18 months in prison and must pay nearly $2 million in restitution for stealing more than $1 million.

    NEW ORLEANS -- A former Shell Oil executive was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $2 million in restitution for a scheme to defraud Shell and failure to pay taxes, according to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, WWLTV.com reported.

    Gregory Courtney, 50, who was an engineer for Shell, acquired a company—Mercury Equipment and Services Inc.—that was a vendor for Shell, and diverted more than $1 million for his personal use from the Mercury maintenance contract with Shell, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the TV report stated.

    According to court documents, Courtney used Mercury to charge Shell for a maintenance contract for storage boxes on offshore oil rigs, though little, if any, maintenance was performed, said WWLTV.com.

    "Quite often, crimes of greed include more than concealing income from the IRS," IRS Special Agent in Charge Michael J. De Palma said in the report. "This investigation is a prime example of how special agents of IRS criminal investigation work with the FBI and the United States Attorney's Office to bring individuals involved in fraud and conspiracy to justice. We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to stop those individuals who scheme and conspire with each other to benefit themselves to the detriment of other citizens and their government."

    In addition to the sentence, Judge Kurt Engelhardt ordered Courtney to pay restitution in the amount of $486,771 to the IRS and $1,335,540 to Shell Oil. And according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Courtney failed to report the income on his taxes in 2001, 2002 and 2003, the report stated.

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