Tacoma Man Sentenced to Nearly Four Years in Prison for Embezzling $2.3 Million from his Employer
Five Year Scheme using False Accounting Entries, Fraudulent Checks and Forged Signatures
A Tacoma, Washington man who stole more than $2.3 million from his employer over a five-year period was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 46 months in prison for wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. TONI ANDERSSON, 37, was ordered to pay $2,294,761 to Expedited Solutions, a freight management company. At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart noted that ANDERSSON had been trusted within the company. “There are a lot of people out there who we trust to do the right thing and we need to say there is a serious consequence for doing the wrong thing,” Judge Robart said.
According to records filed in the case, between July 2010 and February 2016 in his role as accounting coordinator for a freight management company, ANDERSSON diverted $2.3 million from company accounts to his own bank account. ANDERSSON did this by a variety of means: creating false entries in accounting software so that payments made to himself appeared to be payments to vendors; creating of checks made out to himself and drawn on company bank accounts; using the signature stamp of the company owner to sign checks; and transferring funds between various company accounts to hide the embezzlement. In all there were more than 400 different fraudulent transactions over the five-year period. After an external audit uncovered the scheme, the audit revealed that ANDERSSON had also failed to forward company employee’s 401k payments to their retirement plans – a loss to the employees of more than $70,000. Those funds were later paid back by the company’s owner.
The embezzlement had a devastating impact on the company and its owner forcing him to layoff some employees, sell his home and draw on some of his retirement savings.
The financial investigation revealed that ANDERSSON used the funds for travel, to open a small coffee shop/café that ultimately failed, and for shopping sprees of as much as $2000 per day. ANDERSSON purchased and remodeled an expensive home and bought a boat and luxury car. He also paid to enroll in an online law school.
The case was investigated by the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Diggs.