Myrtle Beach area men face charges they stole $6.4 million from Sprint through fraudulent billing

Two Horry County men are facing charges in federal court in San Antonio that they stole $6.4 million from the Sprint-Nextel wireless company through a series of fraudulent billings, and then used the proceeds to buy luxury automobiles and a home on an island in Belize.

Darrell Doyle, 50, and Jason Boyd, 37, each face five felony charges of wire or mail fraud as well as felony conspiracy and money laundering charges. All told, the charges could put both men in prison for life. The men were arrested last week and released on $50,000 bonds during a detention hearing last week in Florence.

The case is being heard in San Antonio because that is where the alleged fraudulent billing took place.

According to an indictment unsealed last week, Doyle is the owner of Waccamaw Wireless LLC and Boyd -- who is Doyle’s nephew -- owns AAA Communications. Both businesses, located in Horry County, sell two-way radio equipment.

Prosecutors say Doyle and Boyd conspired with a female Sprint employee in that company’s San Antonio office. According to an indictment, the Sprint employee -- whose name is under seal in the indictment -- created fraudulent purchase orders and invoices depicting purchases purportedly made from Waccamaw Wireless and AAA Communications. The Sprint employee would submit the purchase orders to the company’s accounts payable department in Reston, Va., and that department would wire payments to Doyle and Boyd.

The San Antonio Express-News has reported that the Sprint employee, 56-year-old Ruth Sauceda, jumped to her death from a parking garage in that city last week. Sauceda had worked for Sprint for 17 years, according to the newspaper.

After the payments were received, Doyle and Boyd would mail kickback checks to the San Antonio co-conspirator, according to an indictment. The San Antonio employee typically would receive one-third of the proceeds of the fraudulent billing, court records show.

Prosecutors say the scheme took place between August 2006 and September 2013.

In addition to the prison sentences, both men face fines of up to $20 million and the possible forfeiture of their property to pay back the $6.4 million. Among that property, according to court records, is a 2013 Mercedes automobile, a 2008 BMW automobile, the men’s personal residences, an oceanfront condominium in North Myrtle Beach and the home in Belize, located in the La Casa Pura Vida development.

Doyle is scheduled to be arraigned in San Antonio at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. No hearing date has been scheduled for Boyd.

Contact DAVID WREN at 626-0281 or via twitter at @David_Wren_