Tulsa Man Sentenced for Stealing Almost $370,000 from Employer
A Tulsa man was sentenced in federal court for stealing $368,329.61 from his employer, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
Chief U.S. District Judge John E. Dowdell sentenced Ernest Everette Howard, 49, of Tulsa, to 15 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for wire fraud. The court further ordered Howard to pay $368,329.61 in restitution.
“White collar crime corrupts the economic welfare of businesses and communities. Mr. Howard’s embezzlement scheme undermined the mission of his employer as he abused his position of trust. Now, he is headed to federal prison to account for his crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
Howard was employed as a controller at the Tulsa offices of an international company from 2017 to his termination in January 2019. As such, he oversaw the payroll process and, from January 2018 until his termination, fraudulently padded his own paychecks with unauthorized bonuses and automobile allowances. In an effort to disguise his thefts, Howard attributed the illegal payments to cost of goods sold. Howard used the funds for his personal benefit.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office Asset Forfeiture Section has secured assets from Howard in the approximate amount of $130,000, to be applied to the restitution owed to the victim company, and the Office’s Financial Litigation Unit will pursue the remaining restitution owed.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin C. Leitch prosecuted the case.