Former Comptroller Of Interconn Resources Inc. Charged With Bank Fraud
BIRMINGHAM – Federal prosecutors charged a Mountain Brook man on Tuesday with bank fraud in connection with about $1.2 million embezzled from a Birmingham-based natural gas supplier, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged WELLINGTON MONROE PHILLIPS II with bank fraud in a one-count information filed in U.S. District Court. A plea agreement with Phillips was filed today. In that agreement, Phillips acknowledges his guilt and agrees to a four-year prison sentence. He also agrees to pay the $1.2 million in restitution and forfeiture.
According to the charge, Phillips, 65, embezzled $1,158,427 from Interconn Resources Inc. (INI) between 2004 and June 2011 while he worked as comptroller and primary financial officer for the company. Among Phillips’ duties were issuance of payroll, payment of outstanding accounts and receipt of payments to the company.
Phillips carried out the embezzlement scheme as follows, according to the information. Twice a month, he would issue himself an unauthorized check from the INI corporate bank account held at a First Commercial Bank. Phillips would forge the name of the company’s owner on each check and submit them for payment. Phillips would then alter the company’s accounting ledger by replacing his name with the name of a company to falsely reflect that company had received the check as payment. Finally, upon receiving bank statements for the corporate account, Phillips would alter the statements to remove his name and replace it with the name of the company he had falsely entered on INI’s internal ledger.
“Corporate fraud does serious harm to the companies in our community. It places jobs in jeopardy and can destroy the livelihood of a company’s workers and the security of their families,” Vance said. “My office is intent on prosecuting corporate fraud.”
The maximum sentence for the bank fraud charge is 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. A notice of forfeiture accompanying the charge specifies the amount of $1,158,427.
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney is prosecuting the case.
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The Office of U.S. Attorney
Joyce White Vance
Natural Disaster Fraud Hotline
Members of the public can report fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations through the Hotline, toll free, at (866) 720-5721 or the Disaster Fraud e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the News Release Justice Department Officials Raise Awareness of Disaster Fraud Hotline