SOMERSET MAN SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR MAIL FRAUD
BOSTON, Mass. - A Somerset man was sentenced today in federal court for using his employer’s business credit card accounts to make thousands of personal purchases over a nine year period.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Thomas M. Powers, Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service Office in Providence, Rhode Island, announced today that MARK ANTHONY WATKINSON, 49, of Somerset, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner to 18 months imprisonment, to be followed by two years of supervised release and $300,000 restitution to the victim company. On December 9, 2009, WATKINSON pled guilty to a one count Information charging mail fraud.
At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that WATKINSON was employed as an Information Technology Manager at Rothtec Engraving Corporation, Inc., in New Bedford, Massachusetts, having been hired by the company in 1993. Beginning in about 2000 and continuing into 2009, WATKINSON used corporate credit card accounts to buy himself thousands of personal items, including hundreds of DVDs, pool supplies, grilling equipment, kitchen gear, sports memorabilia, video games, flat-screen televisions and other items. WATKINSON had been entrusted with the accounts so he could buy business equipment as needed for the company. WATKINSON most often used the web sites Amazon.com and Buy.com for his illegal activities, and deceived his employers by telling them that the purchases were in fact for computer equipment and other items for use at Rothtec. WATKINSON then had the items shipped directly to his home in Somerset. Over a nine year period, WATKINSON spent a total of approximately $300,000 of Rothtec’s money on personal items.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew E. Lelling and Paul Moore of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.