Three defendants were sentenced to prison on Monday for their roles in stealing nearly $2 million from Baker Roofing Company in North Carolina using a fraudulent invoicing scheme.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the following defendants were ordered to pay restitution of $1,850,442 to the company and received the following sentences:

  • George William Garven, of Clemson, S.C., was sentenced to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
  • Robert Andrew Helms, of Indian Trail, N.C., was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and three years of supervised release. 
  • William Russell Davis, of Waxhaw, N.C., was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and three years of supervised release. 

Court documents and other information revealed in court show that Garven was hired by Baker Roofing in 2011 to be vice president and general manager of its Charlotte branch office. In 2014, Helms and Davis partnered together to provide roofing subcontracting services to Baker Roofing through Davis' business, R&K Davis Holdings.

From 2015 to 2020, prosecutors say R&K generated fake invoices and subcontracts to bill Baker Roofing for work that was never performed. Proceeds from these were funneled into business bank accounts controlled by Davis and Helms and disbursed to Garven through gift cards, check and other forms. The checks included fraudulent memo lines to make it appear as if they were related to legitimate business.

Garven also directed Helms and Davis to use the embezzled funds to pay contractors to perform work on Garven’s residential properties. In furtherance of the scheme, Garven paid Helms and Davis each approximately $140,000 in cash.

“These defendants, all of whom are well-educated, successful businessmen, used their positions of privilege to enrich themselves at the victim’s expense,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “Like many white collar offenders, their choices were not born of desperation, but of greed. They thought they were above the law — but today the law caught up with them. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners work tirelessly to ensure that those who cheat Eastern North Carolina businesses face consequences in federal court.”