Dr. Pepper sales executive pleads guilty to charges of fraud, tax evasion

A NATIONAL SALES executive for Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., a subsidiary of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and tax evasion in U.S. District Court. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/LUKE SHARRETT
A NATIONAL SALES executive for Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., a subsidiary of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and tax evasion in U.S. District Court. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/LUKE SHARRETT

PROVIDENCE – A national sales executive for Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Inc., a subsidiary of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc., pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and tax evasion at an appearance in the U.S. District Court in Providence on Tuesday.

The FBI and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation division found that Michael Lynch, a resident of Newport, had between 2007 and 2017 filed more than $1.7 million in fraudulent invoices to Dr. Pepper through a marketing company formed under his wife’s name. None of the services billed to Dr. Pepper through the marketing company, Seacoast Unlimited Marketing and Promotions LLC, were provided. Lynch had submitted 200 invoices to Dr. Pepper for promotional signs and banners and delivering samples to retail stores.

In addition, Lynch admitted that he had not declared any of his Seacoast income on his tax filings – a tax loss totaling $386,320.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge William Smith is set to sentence Lynch on June 1. Lynch can be punished with up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for wire fraud, and with up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine for false tax returns.

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Kate Talerico is a PBN contributing writer.

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