ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Dannielle Benson, owner of Dankar Enterprises, pled guilty to defrauding Duncan Solutions and the St. Louis Treasurer’s Office from June 2009 through December 31, 2011.
Duncan Solutions is a worldwide company engaged in providing on-street parking meter equipment, maintenance, revenue collections, and other related products and services. During 2009, the Treasurer’s Office for the City of St. Louis outsourced its on-street parking meter maintenance and revenue collections operations through a primary contract with Duncan. Duncan, in turn, sub-contracted with Benson, through Dankar, for the day to day on-street parking meter maintenance and revenue collections in the City of St. Louis.
Between June 2009 and December 2011, Benson and Dankar submitted monthly invoices which were false and inflated by approximately $5,000 to $8,000, for a total of approximately $223,546. The false and inflated invoices were submitted to Duncan falsely claiming that two individuals were employed and performed work for Dankar as either a Collector or a Technician on the City of St. Louis contract. Neither of the two individuals performed the work claimed on the false invoices.
During July or August 2009, another individual became aware of Benson’s fraudulent activity and advised her that he was aware of her conduct and requested that she begin paying him a portion of her revenues from the inflated monthly invoices. In order to conceal the inflated invoice scheme, on September 1, 2009 Benson and the other individual entered into a sham consulting agreement whereby a company set up by the other individual contracted with Dankar to provide consulting services for a monthly fee. From October 2009 through December 31, 2011, Benson made monthly payments to the other individual and his sham company, beginning with $2,000 each month and increasing to $3,000 each month for a total of approximately $59,000.
In early January 2010, Benson, through Dankar, entered into a sham consulting agreement with the St. Louis Treasurer’s Office for legislative monitoring, reporting and advocacy for the sum of $1,333 per month. Simultaneously, on the same day, she also entered into a second sham consulting agreement. Dankar provided no consulting services to the St. Louis Treasurer’s Office.
Benson, 41, of St. Peters, pled guilty to one felony count of wire fraud before United States District Judge Rodney W. Sippel. Sentencing has been set for November 16, 2012.
Wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.