Former Business Manager Pleads Guilty To Stealing More Than $730,000 From D.C. Law Firm-Defendant Issued Unauthorized Checks, Paid Himself Excessive Salary-
WASHINGTON – William B. McNichols, 48, who handled accounting and other financial matters for a Washington, D.C. law firm, pled guilty today to one count of mail fraud in the embezzlement of more than $730,000, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
McNichols, of Colchester, Conn., pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Robert L. Wilkins scheduled sentencing for June 17, 2013. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison, a potential fine, and other penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, McNichols faces a likely range of 27 to 33 months in prison and a fine of $6,000 to $60,000. As part of his plea agreement, he has agreed to pay $732,863 in restitution to the law firm. He also is subject to a forfeiture judgment.
According to evidence presented to the Court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Schornstein, McNichols worked from May 2001 until March 2011 as the finance/business manager of Trister, Ross, Schadler and Gold, PLLP, a law firm. From approximately December 2007 until the summer of 2010, McNichols also performed accounting services for an affiliated company, the Ross Yoon Agency, which was based at the law firm.
Beginning in August 2004 and continuing until March 2011, McNichols embezzled about $631,736 from Trister Ross and about $101,127 from the Ross Yoon Agency. He obtained the money from Trister Ross by issuing excessive salary payments to himself and by issuing checks to pay personal credit card bills and other personal expenses. He obtained the money from the Ross Yoon Agency by issuing unauthorized checks to himself. He used the U.S. mail to send the unauthorized checks to his credit card companies and other companies.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Assistant Director in Charge Parlave praised those who investigated the case for the FBI’s Washington Field Office. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Donna Galindo, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Saler, who assisted with forfeiture issues, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Schornstein, who is prosecuting the case.