WEBSTER PARISH ACCOUNTANT SENTENCED FOR FRAUD
More than $500,000 stolen in scheme
SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Murlin D. Graham, 37, of Bossier City, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter to 36 months in prison and three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $582,333 in restitution and forfeit a Stingray speedboat and travel trailer. He pleaded guilty on April 16, 2013.
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Graham created “shell companies” with names similar to those that did business with CW&W Contractors Inc., which is where he worked as an accountant. The “shell” companies had bank accounts but provided no services. The “shell” company accounts were solely under Graham’s control. Graham caused CW&W to make payments to his “shell” companies rather than to CW&W’s actual customers on multiple occasions for almost two years. As a result of his fraudulent conduct, Graham stole $582,333 from CW&W.
“The defendant in this case sought to hide his theft but was ultimately brought to justice,” Finley stated. “Through his actions, this trusted employee deprived his employer of business income and cost himself time in federal prison. We will continue to prosecute cases like this to the fullest extent of the law.”
“This case is another example of local and federal authorities working together to achieve a common goal of bringing justice to the citizens of Webster Parish,” said Gary Sexton, Webster Parish Sheriff.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Cytheria Jernigan prosecuted the case.