News and Press Releases

Former Central Leasing Corp. Executive Sentenced to Two Years for Wire Fraud

March 15 , 2012

BIRMINGHAM – U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor today sentenced a former equipment leasing company executive to two years in prison for wire fraud in connection to a $1.2 million embezzlement scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick Maley, and Vestavia Hills Police Chief Dan Rary.

BARRY A. THOMAS, 48, former chief financial officer for Central Leasing Corporation, pleaded guilty in September to one count of wire fraud for embezzling from the Birmingham-based company from July 2003 until his employment was terminated in August 2010. Along with sentencing Thomas to prison, Judge Proctor ordered him to pay $1,126,277 in restitution to Central Leasing Corporation, and to forfeit the same amount to the government as proceeds of illegal activity.

“Companies provide stability to families throughout communities,” Vance said. “When a corporate officer, entrusted with the responsibilities of managing the financial affairs of the entire corporation, violates that trust, the harm done extends beyond the bottom line of an account ledger. Corporate embezzlement harms the financial health of the company and the stability of the jobs it provides,” she said. “My office will aggressively prosecute employees who steal from their companies, putting the livelihood of others and the health of communities at risk.”

According to the court documents, Thomas carried out his embezzlement as follows:

Part of his responsibilities as CFO was to handle payroll and payment of salaries for Central Leasing employees. In order to do that, he would send electronic communications, via the Internet, from his Birmingham office to the payroll and bookkeeping firm, QuickBooks/Intuit, in San Diego. The electronic file would set out the exact amount of money that was to be directly deposited into the personal accounts of Central Leasing employees. In many of these electronic communications, Thomas would direct to his personal account the release of money that exceeded what he should have received for his salary. The total amount Thomas obtained as a result of his embezzlement was about $1,226,277.

The FBI and the Vestavia Hills Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney prosecuted it.





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