The former co-owner of what was once one of the nation's largest seller of auto service contracts pleaded guilty Thursday to fraud and stealing charges, admitting he ripped off customers and took millions from the company.
Cory Atkinson, 42, former vice president of Wentzville-based US Fidelis, appeared in St. Charles County Circuit Court, where in April his brother, company president Darain Atkinson, 47, pleaded guilty to similar state charges.
Cory Atkinson is scheduled to appear in federal court Monday to plead guilty to related charges there, and he is expected to be sentenced to no more than a total of four years in prison on both the state and federal charges, said his attorney, Bill Margulis.
"He decided to accept responsibility and thought it was in the best interest for himself and his family to resolve it," Margulis said after the hearing on Thursday. His client was set to go to trial in St. Charles County in September.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 28. Darain Atkinson is expected to be sentenced to eight years in prison on July 16.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said that under Cory Atkinson's plea agreement, a 13-count indictment that a grand jury had handed down in June 2011 was collapsed into three charges: insurance fraud, consumer fraud, and stealing by deceit.
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