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Press Release

Former Marriott employee pleads guilty to wire fraud for embezzling close to $1 million

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

Defendant embezzled the funds over roughly 10 years and spent the money on island vacations and cars

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A former employee of the Charleston Marriott Town Center who defrauded the hotel out of close to a million dollars pleaded guilty today, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Mark Kuhn, 52, of Milton in Cabell County, entered his guilty plea to wire fraud for his embezzlement from the hotel.

Kuhn worked for the Marriott as an accountant and general cashier. His duties included collecting cash from the various departments of the hotel, including the gift shop, the front desk, and the restaurant and bar. Kuhn admitted that beginning in November 2005 and continuing through February 2016, he embezzled over $955,000 from the hotel. He covered up his embezzlement by regularly posting false entries in the hotel’s accounting system to make it appear as if the hotel had paid out cash for various goods or services. Typically, the false entries reflected fictitious payments for commissions or fees owed to a travel agency or online travel company. The false entries for any particular day would match the amount of cash that Kuhn had embezzled from the cash receipts for that day.

Over the course of his fraudulent scheme, Kuhn used the embezzled funds for personal expenses. He admitted that he took vacations to Hawaii, the Bahamas, Myrtle Beach, and Disney World. He also admitted that he went on a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. He additionally admitted to using the money to buy cars, a truck, and a recreational vehicle. Furthermore, he admitted that he used the embezzled funds to make payments on Chase MasterCard accounts, Sears credit card accounts, and a revolving credit account at Home Depot.

Kuhn faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on December 5, 2016. Additionally, as part of the plea agreement, Kuhn has agreed to pay $955,317.17 in restitution.

The United States Secret Service conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Philip H. Wright is in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston.

Updated August 24, 2016