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Press Release

Food Service Company Manager Indicted On Charges Of Embezzling Over $400,000 In Customer Payments

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

Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury today indicted Cesar Raphael Barretto, age 43, of Severn, Maryland, on charges of wire fraud, in connection with a scheme embezzle over $400,000 from the company where he worked.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Brian Murphy of the United States Secret Service - Baltimore Field Office.

According to the indictment, Barretto was a territory manager for U.S. Foods, Inc., a company that distributed food and supplies to restaurants, hospitals, hotels, and other businesses. Barretto worked out of the U.S. Foods office in Severn, where he was responsible for helping customers place orders for U.S. Foods products. Barretto transmitted customer orders to the company electronically. The orders were then sent to a regional distribution center where they were picked up by the customer, or picked up and delivered to the customer by Barretto. In addition, Barretto tracked the sales of products in his region and was responsible for collecting the balances due on customers’ invoices. When Barretto received a payment from a customer, he deposited it into the U.S. Foods bank account and emailed the company a collection report, which credited the customer’s account.

The nine count indictment alleges that from June 2010 through July 2012, Barretto defrauded one of U.S. Food’s customers, American Pollo Restaurant Group, by diverting over $400,000 in payments he received on their account to pay for cases of food that Barretto ordered for himself under the account of another U.S. Foods customer, a bakery located in Langley, Maryland, without that customer’s knowledge.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that Barretto ordered cases of food from U.S. Foods for his own personal use, using the bakery customer’s account. According to the indictment, Barretto paid for the unauthorized purchases by diverting a portion of the payments received from American Pollo to the bakery customer’s account. The indictment alleges that in collection reports emailed to U.S. Foods, Barretto falsely listed some of American Pollo’s payments as credits to the bakery customer’s account, thereby paying off the outstanding balances created in that account by Barretto’s unauthorized purchases. Barretto then allegedly sold the products he obtained with the embezzled funds to a restaurant in Laurel, Maryland, in exchange for cash.

The indictment alleges that Barretto paid for more than 300 unauthorized food purchases from U.S. Foods by creating and submitting false collection reports that transferred approximately $414,313.01 in collection payments from American Pollo to the bakery customer’s account. The indictment seeks the forfeiture of the proceeds of the scheme, which is at least $414,313.01.

Barretto faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of nine counts of wire fraud. An initial appearance for Barretto has not yet been.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Secret Service for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Martin J. Clarke, who is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 26, 2015