A high-ranking official of an overseas company has pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges in Virginia stemming from his admitted embezzlement of close to $1 million of corporate funds.
The man, 42, had run the American operations of a Belgian-based manufacturer of adhesives and sealants from its offices in Manassas, Virginia. Prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office said he admitted to the theft of at least $950,000 over a three-year period from September 2008 through August 2011 and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.
According to prosecutors, the man would take money from the corporate accounts and transfer them to his personal bank account. Or, he would claim items as corporate expenses and seek reimbursement. He also paid himself a monthly commission on top of his salary without the approval or consent of company officials from the corporate office and used his company-issued debit card for his own expenses.
The man had to take significant steps to alter his company’s books to hide his alleged fraudulent activity, according to prosecutors. He allegedly used his company laptop computer to falsify an invoice for $8,500. He also entered his personal expenses in the books and claimed them as corporate purchases.
Prosecutors claimed the man purchased a number of items with the company funds, including vacations, a home remodeling, sporting goods and theater tickets.
In cases like this, sometimes a plea deal can be advantageous to endlessly fighting a case. The federal government can be an intimidating opponent, and serving a sentence and moving on with one’s life could be a decision to consider.
Source: Inside NoVA, “Gainesville man pleads guilty to embezzling nearly $1 million,” Amanda Stewart, March 9, 2012