Gainesville Man Sentenced to 33 Months for Embezzling More Than $1 Million
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Tony Patton, 43, of Gainesville, Va., was sentenced today to 33 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling nearly $1 million from his former employer, Soudal Inc., a Belgium-based company with its U.S. headquarters in Manassas, Va.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Claude Hilton. Patton pled guilty on March 9, 2012.
According to court documents, Patton was employed as a vice president and managed the Soudal’s operations within the U.S. From September 2008 through August 2011, Patton embezzled more than $1 million from the company. During the three-year scheme, Patton transferred funds from corporate accounts to his own personal bank account, obtained reimbursement for personal expenditures that he falsely represented were corporate expenses, used company debit cards and checks to pay for personal expenses, paid himself a monthly commission without the company’s knowledge or consent, and diverted refunds payable to the company to himself.
According to plea papers, Patton used his work laptop to conceal his fraud by creating fake invoices. For example, Patton created a fake $8,500 invoice and used the funds to pay for the down payment on a Cadillac Escalade. He also created a fake invoice that caused the company to pay a portion of the down payment on a 2007 BMW. Furthermore, Patton altered company accounting records in order to cover up his fraud. In one instance, he changed accounting entries from payments to Washington Capitals Hockey to Washington CAP LLC and from Piedmont Country Club to PCC.
In addition, Patton used the money he stole from the company to pay for numerous vacations, including family trips to Disney World, Myrtle Beach, and the Bahamas as well as personal trips to Las Vegas, Toronto, and Boston. He also used corporate funds to pay for home re-modeling and repair work, theater tickets, property taxes, boat storage and maintenance, golf and hockey equipment, XM satellite radio, and other personal expenditures.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant United States Attorney Uzo Asonye prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.