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Press Release

Rhode Island Man Sentenced for Million Dollar Embezzlement Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Rhode Island man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston in connection with a scheme to embezzle over $1 million from a Massachusetts company.  

Michael H. Tran, 35, of Woonsocket, R.I., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 46 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay forfeiture and restitution each in the amount of $1,284,792. In August 2019, Tran pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud.

Tran and co-conspirator Darren Cormier, who worked as a product manager for a Bellingham manufacturing company, worked together to embezzle millions of dollars from the company. From December 2013 to May 2016, Cormier told the company owners that he was purchasing equipment for the company using his PayPal account, which was linked to the company’s credit cards. Instead of making legitimate equipment purchases, however, Cormier used his PayPal account to pay Tran, who withdrew the money in cash and used it to pay for personal expenses. Tran and Cormier concealed the fraud by adjusting the names settings in Tran’s PayPal account to make it appear on account statements as if the payments were submitted to legitimate vendors. Tran and Cormier also submitted fraudulent invoices and purchase orders to the company in the name of some non-existent vendors, such as “A Plug Tool Supply” and “MHT Industrial.”

Cormier was charged separately for his role in the conspiracy and wire fraud scheme and pleaded guilty in March 2019. He is set to be sentenced on Nov. 26, 2019.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordi de Llano, Deputy Chief of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit, prosecuted the case.

Updated November 5, 2019

Financial Fraud