U.S. Fidelity Fraudster Gets 40 Months

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – A former owner of what once was the country’s largest seller of auto service contracts was sentenced Tuesday to 40 months in federal prison.
     Corey Atkinson, 42, of Chesterfield, Mo., was sentenced for tax fraud conspiracy and tax fraud. He also must pay $4.49 million in back taxes.
     Atkinson will be sentenced on state fraud and stealing charges in St. Charles County Circuit Court on Sept. 28.
     Atkinson and his brother, Darain, ran National Auto Warranty Services, which later became known as U.S. Fidelis. It was the nation’s largest seller of extended auto warranty contracts until its dramatic collapse in 2009.
     U.S. Fidelis used deceptive marketing to lure consumers into buying the contracts, according to court documents.
     The Atkinson brothers were also accused of taking more than $100 million from the company to fund lavish lifestyles.
     Corey Atkinson admitted omitting $15 million in income from his 2006 and 2007 tax returns.
     Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bodenhausen told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the sentence was appropriate, as Corey Atkinson has turned over $15 million and was less culpable than his brother.
     Darain Atkinson, 47, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty in April to similar federal and state charges. His federal sentencing is set for Sept. 25 and his state sentencing for Oct. 1.
     Darain Atkinson is expected to receive roughly twice the prison time as his brother, according to the Post-Dispatch.

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