An Oakland City man has been sentenced to federal prison for defrauding two businesses. U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler’s office says Joshua Eaden, who managed a retail tire and auto service sales location in Princeton, orchestrated a scheme that bilked the businesses out of nearly $250,000.
Eaden was the manager of the Best-One Tire Service of Princeton, which provided parts, supplies, and services to Gibson County Coal, such as industrial heavy equipment tires and foam tire fill.
Minkler’s office says between November 2013 and March 2016, Eaden defrauded Gibson County Coal by submitting more than 300 false foam tire fill invoices via email. The company made the payments, totaling more than $189,000, to Best-One Tire & Service, which led to a higher net profit percentage for Best-One and higher bonus payments for Eaden.
Eaden also reported tire sales to tire manufacturer Bridgestone that never occurred and received bonuses through the company’s reward program.
A jury found Eaden guilty of 17 counts of wire and mail fraud in October 2019. His sentencing hearing had been delayed due to what Eaden claimed was medical issues that rendered him legally blind.
During a sentencing hearing earlier this month, prosecutors showed video evidence of Eaden playing golf and driving a golf cart on numerous occasions in 2020, including on days following requests to the court to delay his sentencing because of his loss of vision.
“Mr. Eaden abused his position and the trust his company had in him for one simple reason – greed,” said Paul Keenan, special agent in charge with the FBI in Indianapolis. “To top that off, he thought he could play on the sympathy of the court for a lighter sentence by presenting a disability that was proven to be blatantly false through the dedicated work of our agents.”
Eaden was sentenced to nearly two years in federal prison, a sentence that was enhanced by the judge based “obstruction of justice for exaggerating and misleading the Court about his alleged blindness.”
Eaden will also serve three years of supervised release following his sentence and must pay $244,683 in restitution.