Former Taneytown man pleads guilty to federal fraud charges

A former Taneytown resident and chief operating officer of Carroll County-based technology companies pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges that he and two co-conspirators illegally obtained millions of dollars in federal contracts for the companies and defraud the employees of the companies of health and welfare benefits.

Jonathan Mickle, 43, now residing in Asheville, N.C., faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the gain or loss for a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and a maximum of three years in prison and a $100,000 fine for tax fraud, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore.


Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 3 in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Mickle worked for Carroll County-based Quantell, Inc. and Intaset Technologies Corporation from 2004 to 2012. Shaun Tucker, and his wife, Joanne Tucker, were controlling officers and majority shareholders of Quantell and Intaset, and were previously indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with their alleged roles in the scheme.

Shaun Tucker, 49, who also went by the aliases of Shawn Turner and Mark Tyler, and Joanne Tucker, 29, who had aliases of Joanne Krcma, Jill Swanson and Jocelyn Turner, both of Keymar, are scheduled to go to trial in September, according to the news release. The Tuckers face 20 years in prison and a fine for the charge of wire fraud conspiracy, five years in prison for the embezzling from an employee plan count and five years in prison for the tax evasion charge. The March indictment also seeks the forfeiture of at least $1.5 million as well as a home and two vehicles purchased with allegedly diverted funds.

Mickle, as chief operating officer of Carroll County-based Quantell, Inc. and Intaset Technologies, assisted on bidding on and securing federal government contracts, even though he knew the information on those bids was false, according to the plea. As a result, Quantell and Intaset allegedly fraudulently obtained government contracts worth more than $10 million, according to the release.

Mickle also conspired with the Tuckers to divert a portion of funds from the government contracts intended to provide health benefits to employees into shell companies for their own personal use, according to the plea agreement.

From 2007 through 2010, the three illegally diverted at least $675,000 of employee benefit money for more than 190 employees for their personal use, according to the plea. Mickle personally obtained more than $100,000 from October 2008 to February 2010. According to Mickle's plea agreement, during the entire period of the conspiracy, including after Mickle left Quantell and Intaset, the three diverted approximately $1.6 million of employee benefit money intended for more than 250 workers, for their personal benefit.

Mickle also filed a joint tax return for 2011, which reported his taxable income was zero and the amount of tax due was $830. Mickle's taxable income was actually $30,753, and the tax owed was $11,957, according to the release.