The U.S. Attorney in Las Vegas announced last week that William "Bart" Monroe, 56, of Henderson, Nevada, former head of land acquistion for Meritage Homes Corp. (NYSE:MTH) in Nevada, pleaded guilty on June 23 in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, 11 counts of mail fraud, and one count of tax evasion.

According to U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden, Monroe and two co-conspirators created a business named Silverado Pipe and Supply then submitted fraudulent invoices to Meritage for PVC pipe and other supplies. Monroe then approved them and had payments issued to one of the co-conspirators. The co-conspirator in turn sent a portion of the payments in cash to Monroe via Federal Express.

Between July 7, 2004, and July 25, 2008, Monroe received 11 such payments totaling approximately $1.45 million. He also did not report the income to the IRS; Monroe for the tax years 2004 to 2008, he owed additional tax of $568,412, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Monroe is scheduled to be sentenced on September 27 and faces up to 20 years in prison on each mail fraud count, up to five years in prison on the tax evasion count, and fines of up to $250,000 on all counts.

Brent Anderson, vp of investor relations for Meritage, said the company had no comment on the case.

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