FORMER CFO OF ALASKA NATIVE CORPORATION SENTENCED FOR MAIL FRAUD AS PART OF EMBEZZLEMENT SCHEME
Used Corporation Funds to Pay for Personal Luxuries
CLYDE THOMAS BEARD, 45, formerly of Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 21 months in prison, three years of supervised release and $188,000 in restitution for Mail Fraud. BEARD, a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Alaska, is the former Chief Financial Officer of NANA Services, LLC, a subsidiary of NANA Development Corporation (“NDC”), an Alaskan Native corporation based in Anchorage, Alaska. BEARD was terminated from NANA in February 2008. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman told him, “The abuse of trust is severe, not only did you abuse your fiduciary duties as a CPA, but you abused a very vulnerable population.”
According to records in the case, between April 2005 and February 2008, BEARD submitted expense reports to his employer that vastly inflated the amount of money NANA owed to BEARD for purchases he had made. Some of the unlawful reimbursement was sent to BEARD and some was sent directly to credit card companies to pay for items BEARD claimed he had purchased for the Alaska Native corporation. For example, BEARD submitted bills for reimbursement for Dell computers he never purchased and for travel that was not business related. BEARD used his corporate credit card to purchase a diamond ring, a 42" flat panel TV, Seattle Seahawks merchandise, and to pay his cable bills. The plea agreement acknowledges that BEARD used his special skill as a CPA to conceal the embezzlement. In all BEARD illegally took about $188,000 from the corporation.
BEARD pleaded guilty on September 29, 2009.
In the government sentencing materials, Assistant United States Attorney Jim Lord quoted from a letter supplied by NANA’s President, Helvi K. Sandvik. Ms. Sandvik wrote that BEARD “took money that could otherwise have been passed on to the benefit of people who desperately need it and instead used it to benefit himself, all while also receiving significant wages in keeping with the position he held . . . His theft and fraudulent behavior demonstrates an absolute disrespect for our native people. Our corporation was formed to improve the quality of life of our severely economically disadvantaged people. “
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Lord.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.