Former employee sentenced to prison for embezzling from Honda
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Charles Michael Stratton, 63, of Fairborn, Ohio, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 42 months in prison for wire fraud and money laundering. Stratton was also ordered to pay more than $750,000 in restitution to his former employer, Honda, and $10,000 to Scioto Industrial Services.
“Stratton devised not just one, but multiple methods for defrauding Honda of more than three-quarters of a million dollars,” U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers said. “The defendant skimmed from overages, arranged for double billing, and approved false invoices. Now, he will spend time in federal prison.”
Stratton served as the Facilities Manager for Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. in Marysville, Ohio, from 2008 until March 2015. In his role, he oversaw various vendor contracts, including those for security services, janitorial services, food service and uniform/laundry on behalf of Honda.
Acrux Investigation Agency, located in Lakeview, provided physical and personal security services for Honda. Surmount, also located in Lakeview, was a subsidiary of Acrux and provided monitoring services to Honda.
Stratton executed a scheme to defraud Honda using Acrux and Surmount by creating multiple purchase orders for payments in amounts just under $100,000, a threshold in which additional oversight and approval is required.
Using these purchase orders, as well as the main labor contract, Stratton caused Acrux and Surmount to submit false invoices to Honda and instructed them to keep the money in a “future fund.” Money allocated to the future fund was then used, in part, to pay Stratton directly or through his organization, SAFE. Springfield Area Fastball Elites, Inc. (SAFE) was an Ohio non-profit created by Stratton to support local baseball teams; however, SAFE lost its classification as a 501(c)(3) in 2010.
Stratton was indicted by a grand jury in May 2018 and pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in October 2019.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the sentence imposed on Nov. 6 by Senior U.S. District Court Judge James L Graham. Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica W. Knight and Peter K. Glenn-Applegate represented the United States in this case.
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