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Press Release

Wilkes-Barre Accountant Pleads Guilty To Embezzling Over $1.5 Million From Employer

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

SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Lawrence Malachefski, age 39, of Wilkes-Barre, PA, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Malachy E. Mannion, to wire fraud.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the criminal Information to which Malachefski pleaded guilty alleges that, from approximately March 2023 to June 2023, while serving as the financial Controller of a Wilkes-Barre based Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) business, Malachefski embezzled over $1.5 million from his employer, converting the funds to his own personal possession and use.

Malachefski acknowledged that the monetary loss attributable to his conduct was greater than $1.5 million and that he abused a position of private trust in a manner that significantly facilitated the commission of his crime.  Malachefski also agreed to make restitution to the victim-company in the amount of $1,586,557.45.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Philadelphia Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffery St John is prosecuting the case.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

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Updated April 30, 2024

Financial Fraud