Business/US Fidelis
2:44 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

US Fidelis co-owner pleads guilty to federal charges

One of two brothers who owned the auto services contract giant US Fidelis has pleaded guilty to federal charges - just four days after admitting to a series of state charges.

Darain Atkinson, 47, pleaded guilty today to one felony count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and one felony count of filing false tax returns. 

Atkinson admitted in the courtroom of Judge John Ross today that he and other company employees, including his brother Cory, employed a number of deceptive sales tactics, including fliers that led customers to believe that products from US Fidelis would extend their manufacturers' warranties. Darain Atkinson also admitted that he withheld "substantial portions" of refunds that were due to customers who had canceled their contracts.

Atkinson also admitted that he failed to disclose on his tax returns millions of dollars in company funds that he'd used for personal use.

Darain Atkinson faces a maximum of eight years in prison - the same amount negotiated in the state plea agreement. His brother Cory has entered not guilty pleas in both federal and state courts.