Office Manager Pleads Guilty To Embezzling More Than $1 Million From His Former Employer
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Richard Allen Clark, 55, of Lenoir, N.C., appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler today and pleaded guilty to federal charges for embezzling more than $1 million from his former employer, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Mona Passmore, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Charlotte Field Office (IRS-CI), and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which oversees Charlotte, join Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer in making today’s announcement.
According to plea documents and statements made in court, from 2013 to 2019, Clark was employed as an office manager for two family owned businesses in Lenoir, and was responsible for, among other things, handling the companies’ bookkeeping and financial records, making payments to vendors and the IRS, and reconciling the companies’ bank accounts. According to court documents, Clark used his position and his access to the companies’ financial records and bank accounts to embezzle more than $1 million from his employers, and used the United States mail to carry out his scheme. According to the indictment, Clark stole money from a company bank account the owner had directed Clark to close. Instead of closing the account, Clark used it to steal from his employer, by instructing customers to make payments to that account.
Clark also admitted that he laundered the funds he embezzled from his employer by withdrawing customer funds from the company’s bank account through multiple fraudulent checks payable to himself, which he deposited into multiple personal bank accounts. Court records show that Clark then used the stolen funds to pay for his personal lifestyle, including to make payments for his home mortgage, to make auto loan payments for an F-150 truck and other vehicles, to install a home theater system, and to pay for travelling and shopping expenses, among other things.
Finally, Clark pled guilty to filing a false U.S. income tax return for tax year 2018 by deliberately failing to claim the additional income he stole from his employers. According to the filed Indictment, Clark falsely declared only his legitimate W-2 income on his 2014 through 2018 U.S. Joint Income Tax Returns, resulting in approximately $195,000 in lost taxes to the United States.
Clark pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine; one count of money laundering, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine; and one count of making a false statement on his tax return, which carries a maximum term of three years in prison and a $100,000 fine per count.
In making today’s announcement Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer thanked IRS-CI, the USPIS, and the Caldwell County Sheriff’s office for their investigation which led to the charges.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Savage of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is prosecuting the case.
Updated June 3, 2021