Richard Allen Clark, 55, of Lenoir, appeared before US investigating magistrate David C. Keesler last week and pleaded guilty to federal charges for embezzling more than $ 1 million from his former employer.

According to advocacy documents and court statements, from 2013 to 2019 Clark was employed as an office manager for two family businesses in Lenoir, and was responsible, among other things, for managing the accounting and financial records of the companies, to make payments. to vendors and the IRS, and reconcile business bank accounts. According to court documents, Clark used his position and access to corporate financial records and bank accounts to embezzle over $ 1 million from his employers, and used the United States mail to complete his scheme. .

According to the indictment, Clark stole money from a company bank account that the owner ordered Clark to close. Instead of shutting down the account, Clark used it to rob his employer, asking customers to make payments to that account.

Clark also admitted that he laundered the funds he had embezzled from his employer by withdrawing clients’ funds from the company’s bank account through several fraudulent checks payable to himself, which he deposited. on several personal bank accounts. Court records show that Clark then used the stolen funds to pay for his personal lifestyle, including making mortgage payments, making car loan payments for an F-150 truck and other vehicles, to install a home theater system and to pay for travel and shopping expenses, among other things.

Finally, Clark pleaded guilty to filing a false U.S. tax return for the 2018 tax year by deliberately failing to claim the extra income he stole from his employers. According to the indictment filed, Clark falsely reported only his legitimate W-2 income on his joint US tax returns from 2014 to 2018, resulting in a tax loss of approximately $ 195,000 to the United States.

Clark pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, carrying a maximum jail term of 30 years and a fine of $ 1 million; one count of money laundering, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $ 500,000; and one count of misrepresenting his tax return, punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of $ 100,000 per count.

In making the announcement, Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer thanked the IRS-CI, USPIS, and the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation that led to the charges.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Savage of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is pursuing the case. No sentencing date has been announced.

[News release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of North Carolina]

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