In September 2018, Vance Taylor was indicted for allegedly engaging in a scheme to defraud Rite Aid. Taylor was charged with multiple counts of mail and wire fraud. The alleged scheme involved the two companies owned by Taylor and his partner, Larry Nuckols. The companies, Nuvision Graphics, Inc. and Superior Graphics, Inc. provided advertising services to Rite Aid. James Pilsner was Rite Aid’s Vice President of Advertising and responsible for purchasing advertising services on behalf of Rite Aid.
The Indictment alleged that Nuvision and Superior submitted false and inflated invoices to Rite Aid. The invoices were inflated to include a kickback that would be paid to Pilsner in exchange for purchasing of advertising. Pilsner would email Nuckols with a request for a kickback disguised as a request for equipment or other services. Nuckols would respond and blind copy, Taylor. Nuvision and Superior received over $45 million. Pilsner was paid over $5 million in kickbacks.
Pilsner and Nuckols pled prior to the Indictment of Taylor and agreed to cooperate against Taylor. Taylor proceeded to trial. At trial, Taylor’s defense was that he was just a bystander. Taylor did not dispute that he received emails discussing the kickbacks but argued he didn’t know about the scheme. Taylor presented no affirmative defense, instead, he focused on attacking the credibility of Pilsner and Nuckols. The jury found Taylor not guilty on all counts.
A win for justice!