Former Law Firm Controller Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison For Stealing over $400,000 from the Firm

December 18, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Michael J. Case, age 50, of Linthicum, Maryland, today to 33 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after Case pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud the law firm where he worked, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Motz also entered an order that Case forfeit the money remaining in his retirement account and pay restitution of $411,000.

According to Case’s plea agreement, he worked for a Baltimore law firm for over 20 years and was the Controller of the firm, with day-to-day control over the firm’s books, records and bank accounts.

Case admitted that beginning some time before August 2007, he began stealing from the firm, at first taking small amounts, but by August 2007, embezzling increasing amounts to satisfy his debts. When Case’s health and work performance deteriorated in November 2008, the firm placed him on medical leave and in February 2009, fired him because of performance issues that had surfaced during his last year of work. In preparing for a new Controller, the firm audited its books and discovered that Case had signed a number of checks for purposes and to payees that the firm did not recognize or authorize. The law firm contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which working with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service established that from August 2007 to November 2008, Case wrote over 40 firm checks to his personal creditors, ranging from $600 to almost $50,000, and totaling $411,000.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Sujit M. Raman and Barbara S. Sale, who are prosecuting the case.



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