A former reserve sheriff’s deputy for Christian County pleaded guilty in federal court July 10 to tax fraud.
Marty Layne Brickey, 47, of Republic, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of failure to pay over to the IRS the payroll taxes he collected from his employees. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Brickey has agreed to pay $114,449 in restitution to the IRS and $539,260 in restitution in connection with some investments made to Brickey or his companies.
Brickey initially faced a 30-count federal grand jury indictment accusing him of leading a $14.5 million investment fraud scheme, in which he told victims that their investments would be used to develop video games and market them. The investors would be rewarded when the games profited, and Brickey pledged to share the profit with investors.
According to the indictment, Brickey made false statements to the investors about the amount of capital he had raised and how close his companies were to actually releasing a product on the market.
According to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Brickey has been commissioned as a reserve deputy sheriff in Christian County since 2012. Brickey owned and operated several companies that marketed, promoted and managed software development. Interzone Entertainment, LLC, had offices located in Springfield, Chicago, Perth, Australia, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and in China before it ceased operations in February 2010. Big Collision Games, LLC, had offices in Texas and in Dublin, Ireland. MasterTitle Games, Inc., and Spectacle Games maintained offices in Austin, Texas. Brickey also owned Zoonik USA, Inc., and Studio Avenue, Inc.
By pleading guilty, Brickey admitted that he voluntarily and intentionally failed to pay over to the IRS $15,031 in payroll taxes tax (including federal income taxes, Medicare and Social Security taxes) that he collected from Interzone employees during the second quarter of 2009. Brickey acknowledged that the total tax loss, including all relevant conduct, is $114,449.
About a year ago, Brickey called the 30-count federal grand jury indictment accusing him of a $14.5 million investment fraud scheme “asinine,” “ridiculous,” “ludicrous” and “total insanity.” He held an hour-long press conference with reporters June 6, 2017.
Brickey said he did “spend a lot of money on a company that failed financially” and now the Department of Justice has made this a “ham sandwich indictment.”
“I think they took a small-town investigative approach to a multi-national corporation. All they could get was information on this little, tiny piece of the pie, and so they just made up the rest,” Brickey said in 2017. “They don’t have a complete vision.”
Restitution payments to various investors are related to funds solicited by Brickey to bring a video game to market, which never happened. Although Brickey will pay restitution to the investors, today’s plea agreement does not constitute any admission of criminal culpability or civil liability on his part, and the government does not allege any criminal culpability with respect to the investments.
The original indictment was returned June 2014, with a superseding indictment in May 2015. The indictment charges Brickey with 10 counts of wire fraud, 13 counts of money laundering and seven counts of failure to pay employment taxes.
Under federal statutes, Brickey is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of additional investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Carney and Casey Clark. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI.