JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A northeast Florida man has pleaded guilty to defrauding two shipping businesses out of nearly $2.2 million dollars.
U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III said Friday that 58-year-old Andrew A. Rooks of Jacksonville faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of two counts of mail and wire fraud.
Bentley says Rooks was assistant vice president of operations for Sea Star Line, LLC, a cargo shipping company operating out of the Port of Jacksonville.
Prosecutors say Rooks authorized phony invoices for container and equipment decals never provided to Sea Star and another company, TrailerBridge, Inc.
Prosecutors say rooks also created fake invoices for inspections never done by companies run by co-conspirators who paid him kickbacks.
Authorities say Rooks’ two partners in the scheme pleaded guilty previously.