Accountant Sentenced for Embezzling More than $3 Million from Houston Company
HOUSTON – An accountant from Georgia has been ordered to federal prison after admitting he committed wire fraud and stole more than $3 million from his former employer and client, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Daniel Nathan West, 52, of Duluth, Georgia, pleaded guilty Sept. 15, 2016.
Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt, who accepted the guilty plea, handed West a 108-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, additional evidence was presented including a statement by the president and CEO of Airis Internatioanl Holdings, West’s former employer and client. In handing down the sentence, Judge Hoyt ordered West to pay restitution in the amount of $3,561,166.11.
West was previously employed as the treasurer and chief financial officer for Airis. In this role, he was to manage Airis finances during construction projects, control the company’s monetary assets, administer payments and payroll, among other things.
In 2005, West resigned from Airis to start his accounting firm - Westtree Financial. Shortly thereafter, Airis contracted with Westtree Financial to provide accounting services to Airis. Although West no longer worked directly for Airis, through his company he continued to have signature authority on Airis’ bank accounts and authority to transfer funds on behalf of Airis.
From 2005 to 2012, West embezzled more than $3 million from Airis, admitting he used the monies to purchase a million-dollar home in Georgia, a beach house in Florida, an office building in Georgia and luxury vehicles.
West was first arrested Oct. 13, 2015, and released on bond. However, he was later taken into custody after Judge Hoyt determined West had violated his conditions of release. He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Vernon Lewis is prosecuting the case.