Paul R. Beckwith, Age 39, Of Layton, Who Pleaded Guilty To Wire Fraud In Connection With A Scheme He Devised To Defraud His Employer Out Of Some Of Its Corporate Funds To Engage In Stock Trades For His Personal Benefit, Will Spend 18 Months In Federal Prison
SALT LAKE CITY – Paul R. Beckwith, age 39, of Layton, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a scheme he devised to defraud his employer out of some of its corporate funds to engage in stock trades for his personal benefit, will spend 18 months in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart imposed the sentence Thursday afternoon in federal court. Beckwith will be on supervised release for 36 months when he finishes his prison sentence. He also was ordered to pay $178,880.74 in restitution. The case was investigated by the SEC and special agents of the FBI.
As a part of a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors, Beckwith admitted that from around August 2009 to around September 2010, he used his position as the assistant controller for TheraDoc, Inc., a hospital software-related services company based in Salt Lake City, to defraud the company out of some of its corporate funds in order to engage in stock trades for his personal benefit. He admitted moving hundreds of thousands of dollars out of an operating account he managed and ultimately transferring the money to one of four different accounts he set up at TD Ameritrade to trade stocks on margin. For much of the fraud period, he transferred money out of the operating account at the beginning of the month and usually replaced the funds at the month’s end.
Throughout the fraud period, he intentionally omitted the transfers of funds in monthly financial reports he prepared and submitted and altered bank records accompanying those reports to further conceal his unauthorized transfer of funds.
Although he made money from his trading activities for much of the fraud period, in August 2010, he transferred more money from the operating account in the belief that the only way he could recover his losses was by making money through continued trading. During the months of August and September 2010, he transferred a total of $1.3 million from the operating account to cover his losses and to support his ongoing trading activities. On Sept. 28, 2010, the SEC froze his TD Ameritrade accounts and the FBI confronted him. Of the $1.3 million removed, he assisted law enforcement in recovering $1,121,119.26.
In a sentencing memorandum filed with the court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Hirata said that while the defendant has characterized his activity as “short-term loans for personal benefit,” they were not short-term loans. “Short-term loans are made between a knowing lender and a borrower. TheraDoc knew absolutely nothing about these loans.”
“This was a serious offense, despite the defendant’s efforts to minimize it. Incarceration is just punishment for conduct which extended over a long period of time, involved careful thought and execution, and which demonstrates a clear and reckless disregard for the financial interests of a company which put its full faith and trust in the defendant to properly handle and protect its money,” Hirata said.