News and Press Releases

Former Woodruff Arts Center Employee Sentenced for Embezzlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 1, 2014

ATLANTA - Ralph Clark has been sentenced for embezzling more than $1.1 million from the Woodruff Arts Center while serving as the Center’s Director of Facilities.
 
“When the defendant embezzled over $1 million from the Woodruff Arts Center, he not only stole from the Arts Center, but the entire community served by the Center,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “His greed and betrayal has fairly landed him in prison.”

Ricky Maxwell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated:  “Today’s sentencing brings to close an unfortunate tale of betrayal and greed. This case, in addition, illustrates the FBI’s responsiveness to assist those non-profit organizations, such as the Woodruff Arts Center, when needed.”  

According to United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In June 2006, Clark was promoted to Director of Facilities at the Woodruff Arts Center.  He had been acting in this capacity for several months before he was promoted.  His duties included ensuring that the Arts Center was properly maintained.  As Director of Facilities, he was authorized to approve vendor contracts up to $50,000.  While carrying out these duties between November 2005 and October 2012, Clark embezzled more than $1.1 million from the Woodruff Arts Center.

Clark, 42, of Ellenwood, Ga., embezzled the money by submitting invoices for bogus expenses to Woodruff Arts Center’s accounts payable department.  The bogus invoices included invoices from his wife’s business - Lowe’s Services - which was an apartment cleaning business set up by his wife in 2003.  The bogus Lowe’s Services invoices were for goods and services that were never provided to the Woodruff Arts Center, or were performed by Clark himself.  After the accounts payable department received an invoice, it generated checks from Woodruff’s checking account.  Clark would then pick the checks up in person, and deposit them into accounts on which he had signatory authority. 

Clark was sentenced by United States District Judge Julie E. Carnes to two years, six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay approximately $1 million in restitution. Clark was convicted of these charges on April 23, 2013, upon his plea of guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Bernita B. Malloy prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.

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