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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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Former Corporate Controller of Clyde’s Restaurant Group
Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Embezzling Over $600,000
-Theft Spanned 10 Years -

     WASHINGTON - Nancy Preston, 55, who worked at Clyde’s Restaurant Group from 1982 to 2011, was sentenced today to two years in prison for her embezzlement of approximately $647,547, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Debra Evans Smith, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

     Preston, of Vienna, Va., pled guilty to mail fraud in September 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She was sentenced by the Honorable Rudolph Contreras. Following completion of her prison term, Preston will be placed on one year of supervised release. During that time, she must perform 100 hours of community service.

     As part of her plea agreement, Preston agreed to consent to forfeiture in the form of a money judgment and to sign over approximately $258,000 worth of equity-based incentive stock awards and/or options to Clyde's. After the plea hearing and before sentencing, Preston complied with the plea agreement by signing over the $258,000; she also paid an additional $150,000 to Clyde's. The final order of forfeiture imposed by the Court took into consideration these payments resulting in a money judgment of $239,069. Additionally, Judge Contreras ordered Preston to pay a fine of $62,000.

     According to a statement of offense, signed by the defendant as well as the government, from approximately 1992 to September 2011, Preston was the corporate controller for Clyde’s. In that position, she oversaw the centralized accounting function, which included budget matters, accounts payable, accounts receivable, among other responsibilities.

     From 2001 to 2011, Preston embezzled approximately $647,547 from Clyde’s by diverting Clyde’s money to pay her personal credit card; charging the corporate credit cards in Clyde’s name (and paid by Clyde’s money) to pay for her unauthorized personal expenses, and using a Clyde’s vendor (paid by Clyde’s funds) to obtain goods for her personal use.

     Preston also attempted to hide her embezzlement. Among other things, she asked a vendor to alter invoices for personal items that she purchased to falsely reflect that Clyde’s purchased different items; fabricated e-mail messages, which purportedly sought reimbursement for items purchased by Clyde’s or Clyde’s corporate officers when in fact the resulting Clyde’s check paid for Preston’s personal credit card bill, and categorized credit card expenses as belonging to corporate officers’ training when the expenses were for personal matters for Preston. When Preston learned of an audit on the corporate credit cards, she falsified her Clyde’s corporate credit card statement to delete those items which she knew were not authorized business expenses.

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen and Acting Assistant Director in Charge Smith commended the work of those who investigated the case from 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 Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Saler, who assisted with the forfeiture aspects of the case, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan B. Menzer, and Paralegal Specialist Donna Galindo. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Cheatham, who prosecuted the case.





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