Two Businessmen Plead Guilty To Wire Fraud Conspiracy For Orchestrating Large-Scale Investment Scheme
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Dena J. King announced today that Benjamin Padua Jr., 57, of Huntersville, N.C., was sentenced to 30 months in prison for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his employer following the company owner’s death. Padua was also ordered to serve three years under court supervision after he is released from prison and to pay $729,914.32 in restitution.
Michael C. Scherck, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, joins U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
According to filed documents and today’s sentencing hearing, from September 2019 to February 2021, Padua abused his senior finance position with his employer, identified in court documents as Trucking Company, and used falsified documents and improper accounting entries to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars. Court documents show that, following the Trucking Company owner’s death in October 2019, Padua forged the owner’s signature on a fake employment agreement Padua created and backdated to prior to the owner’s death. The fraudulent employment agreement purported to increase Padua’s compensation significantly through higher wages, bonuses, and life insurance benefits. After he created the fake employment agreement, Padua received substantial compensation from the Trucking Company, to which he was not entitled.
Padua previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud. He will be ordered to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI in Charlotte for their investigation of the case.
Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Ryan, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.