News and Press Releases

Controller Pleads Guilty to Participating in Fraud Scheme

January 23, 2013

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Indiana County pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, as well as charges of mail fraud and tax fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Cheryl Diane Brooks, 43, of Clymer, Pa., pleaded guilty to seven counts before Chief United States District Judge Gary L. Lancaster.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that between 2007 and 2012, Brooks, a controller at Falcon Drilling Company in Indiana, Pa., conspired with another person to embezzle funds from Falcon Drilling, causing a loss to Falcon totaling nearly $10,000,000. The government represented to the court that Brooks and another person perpetrated the embezzlement by using forged checks, fake invoices to fictitious or real vendors, and false statements to auditors. Brooks obtained approximately $557,000 from the embezzlement scheme.

Judge Lancaster scheduled sentencing for May 31, 2013. The law provides for a total sentence of 74 years in prison, a fine of $1,300,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Inspection Service and Internal Revenue Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Brooks.

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