US Fidelis co-owner pleads guilty in federal case | St. Louis Public Radio

US Fidelis co-owner pleads guilty in federal case

Jun 18, 2012

Updated at 6:15 am Wednesday with comments from U.S. attorney

For the second time in four days, the former co-owner of a once prominent marketer of auto service contracts has pleaded guilty.

Cory Atkinson of Lake St. Louis, Mo., on Monday pleaded guilty to federal charges including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and filing false tax returns. On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to state charges that included insurance fraud and stealing.

"This case is a really good illustration of the cooperation not just only between the state and federal law enforcement agencies, but al our office and the Missouri attorney general's office," said U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan.

Cory Atkinson and his brother, Darain, operated US Fidelis, a now-defunct Wentzville company. Authorities say US Fidelis misled consumers about what was covered by warranties, lied about affiliation with automakers and dealers, and used other deceptive practices.

The devil is always in the details with cases like this, Callahan said.

"You have to read the fine print because there's a difference between sharp business practices and illegal and criminal business practices," he said.

Cory Atkinson will be sentenced in December. Darain Atkinson has also pleaded guilty to state and federal charges. He faces sentencing next month. Both are likely to face about eight year in prison.

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