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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The former Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of a Mint Hill-based company has admitted to stealing approximately $4 million from his former employer and has pleaded guilty to mail fraud, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Nathan Thomas Mroz, 39, of Charlotte, entered his formal guilty plea on Monday, April 14, 2014, before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division.
According to filed court documents and court proceedings, from 2005 to 2013, Mroz was employed by an HVAC company as financial controller and later as CFO and had access to the company’s funds and books and records. Court documents show that over the course of his employment, Mroz exploited his position to create fake accounts payable invoices and to generate corresponding payments, which Mroz directed to himself or mailed to various credit cards he maintained. According to court documents, to cover up his scheme, Mroz fraudulently categorized the bogus company payments as legitimate business expenses in the company’s books and records. Court filings reflect that Mroz spent the stolen money on a wide array of personal expenditures, including vacations to Disneyland and Europe, luxury vehicles, private school tuition, jewelry and to purchase a $115,000 home for his nanny. In all, court documents indicate that Mroz stole approximately $4 million from his former employer.
Mroz pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and was released on bond. At sentencing, he faces a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. As part of his plea agreement, Mroz has agreed to pay restitution, the amount of which will be determined by the Court at sentencing. A sentencing date for the defendant has not been set yet.
The investigation was handled by the FBI. The prosecution for the government is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Mark T. Odulio of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.
In 2004, April was officially designated National Financial Literacy Month, to raise public awareness on the importance of personal financial education and to promote access to tools and information so individuals can better protect themselves from financial fraud.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina reminds the public that financial scams come in different forms: Ponzi schemes, mortgage fraud, corporate fraud, investor fraud, credit card fraud, identity theft, telemarketing scams and fraudulent charity solicitations are some of the most common schemes. Prosecuting financial fraud continues to be a priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office however, becoming educated consumers and investors is the public’s first line of defense against predatory schemes and financial scams.
Additional information on common financial schemes and financial literacy resources are available at:
• U.S. Department of Justice – Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force www.stopfraud.gov
• Federal Bureau of Investigation – Common Fraud Schemes www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud
• U.S. Department of Treasury - Financial Literacy and Education Commission www.mymoney.gov
• U.S. Department of Justice – U.S. Trustee Program www.justice.gov