FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 17, 2014
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Former Manager of D.C. Medical Office
Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $3.6 Million
-Defendant Used Money for Jewelry, Vacations, Parties, Other Personal Expenses-
WASHINGTON - Pamela J. Beard, 51, of Bowie, Md., pled guilty today to a federal mail fraud charge stemming from the embezzlement of more than $3.6 million from her former employer, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Among other things, Beard used the stolen money for vacations, jewelry, a timeshare, and a 50th birthday party for herself.
Beard entered the plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson scheduled sentencing for May 8, 2014. Under the plea agreement, Beard must pay $3,688,649 in criminal forfeiture and restitution. Under the voluntary federal sentencing guidelines, she faces between 41 and 51 months of incarceration.
According to the government=s evidence, from approximately March 1997 through February 2013, Beard was employed as a billing clerk and the office manager at the Office of Orthopaedic Medicine & Surgery, in Washington, DC. Her duties included paying vendors and creditors, as well as making payments on the business’s corporate credit card accounts. She had access to the office’s financial information and payment systems, and, as a result, could generate checks on the office’s corporate checking account. She also was authorized to use a corporate credit card to pay for business-related expenses. Beard was not authorized to use the office’s bank accounts or corporate credit card to pay for personal expenses.
From May 1, 2006, through June 26, 2013, Beard embezzled $3,688,649 from the office. She used the proceeds to pay for, among other things: a home mortgage; vehicles; a timeshare with Disney Vacation Development, Inc.; expenses associated with her husband’s landscaping business; vacations, including a trip to the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas; a personal trainer; jewelry, and parties, including Beard’s 50th birthday party at the Sunset Room at National Harbor, in or around February 2012, for which she spent about $18,703 on ice sculptures.
Beard embezzled the money in a variety of ways:
From May 1, 2006, through Jan. 22, 2013, Beard generated more than 100 corporate checks, totaling $1,289,736.55, on her employer’s checking account. Each check was made payable to Bank of America. Once the checks were generated by Beard through the office’s payment system, she provided them to a physician, who signed them on the office’s behalf. Because the checks were payable to Bank of America, the physician believed that they were intended to pay a corporate credit card account at Bank of America. Beard, however, deposited them at various Bank of America branches to make payments, without authorization, on Bank of America credit card accounts for Beard, her husband, and her husband’s landscaping business.
From Oct. 6, 2006, through June 26, 2013, Beard generated and mailed additional checks drawn on the office’s corporate checking account to pay personal credit card accounts for herself and her husband at American Express. She also made on-line payments from the corporate checking account to American Express. Beard conducted these financial transactions, without authorization, in the total amount of $2,207,882.02.
Finally, from April 21, 2006, through Dec. 30, 2012, Beard used the office’s corporate credit card without authorization, to purchase goods and services for her own personal use in the total amount of $191,030.56.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Assistant Director in Charge Parlave commended the investigative work of special agents and analysts of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Senior Inspector Wayne Rollock of the U.S. Marshals Service. He also praised the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Corinne Kleinman, Rosalind Pressley, and Nicole Wattelet; Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine K. Connelly, who is handling forfeiture issues; and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Johnson, who is prosecuting the case.14-018