Man accused in 'blood diamond' tax fraud case appears in Albany Co. court
A miner holds a pink diamond known as the Argyle Pink Jubilee.
A former high-flying energy company exec appeared before a New York judge on Thursday to face criminal charges that he diverted $18.5 million in company profits to a personal investment in a Congolese “blood diamond” mine.
Gary Mole, the onetime owner of now-defunct Glacial Energy Holdings, pleaded not guilty to sidestepping $740,000 in New York state taxes from 2005 to 2009. Albany city court Judge Rachel Kretser set bail at $250,000 and adjourned his case until Oct. 9.
The diversion of profits — from January 2006 through Sept. 8, 2010 — fraudulently lowered Glacial’s tax bill, according to a felony complaint filed in Albany Criminal Court.
Mole went to great lengths to disguise the investments, prosecutors allege.
At different times, Mole classified the corporate cash as his own, listed the Générales des Mines au Congo mine as a consultant and backdated the “consulting agreement” with the mine, also known as Gemico, according to court papers.
The 51-year-old got so bold in the midst of the alleged scam that he admitted to a banker from whom he was soliciting credit that the money was indeed his — but that shouldn’t be a concern, according to the complaint.
“I take profits, to which I am allowed to do and invest them in Gemico,” Mole wrote in an email included in court papers. “I could have invested them in Las Vegas or Iraq[.] [T]his has nothing to do with Glacial Energy.”
“There has to be one set of rules for everyone, no matter how rich or how powerful, and those who would allegedly hide millions of dollars in income to evade taxes must be held accountable,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told The Post.
Mole faces 15 years for three counts of criminal tax fraud and three counts of making false filings.
This isn’t the first time Mole, an Australian native, has been called out in the courts for alleged questionable behavior.
In 2009, Glacial’s former chief operating officer claimed in court papers that Mole had drunkenly challenged a colleague to a penis-measuring contest during a work dinner. Mole denied the accusations.
In a separate suit from 2011, Michael Petras, a former business partner, claimed that Mole stole his idea for Glacial, cheated him out of millions, and used the alleged Congolese mine scam as a way to divert assets owed to him.
Petras also claimed that Mole — in an attempt to hide his tax scheme — lied to him about his wife, saying she was dying of brain cancer, forcing the couple to move back to Australia.
The true story, Petras claimed, was the couple were living together in the US Virgin Islands.
In 2013, a jury sided with Petras, finding that Mole and his lawyers breached their fiduciary duty to him in a business venture and awarded him $30,000 in damages for his claims.