Former Tech Products Operations Manager Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Scheme
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Cheryl L. Emerson-Chase, 52, of Powell, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count each of wire fraud and money laundering.
Benjamin C. Glassman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division, announced the plea entered into before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Smith Terence P. Kemp.
According to the statement of facts presented in this case, Emerson-Chase was employed as the operations manager for PCM, Inc. (formerly known as SARCOM, Inc.), a direct marketer of technology products, services and solutions to businesses, governments, educational institutions and individual consumers.
Emerson-Chase was assigned primarily PCM’s account for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and handled the day-to-day operational sales relationship with Nationwide.
The defendant began to steal laptops and tablets from PCM that were intended for delivery to Nationwide and provided fictitious purchase orders to PCM’s employees, instructing them to create false internal sales orders in PCM’s computer system. The two companies identified at least 93 fake purchase orders created in connection with the scheme.
Emerson-Chase then used the ordered computers for her own use or the use of friends and family members, sold them directly to third parties, or delivered them to an associate to sell to third parties.
In total, Emerson-Chase stole more than 600 items of computer hardware having an aggregate value of nearly $597,000.
Wire fraud and money laundering are each crimes punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Acting U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI and Assistant United States Attorney Jessica H. Kim, who is representing the United States in this case.