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February 5, 2023

Accountants Behaving Badly: Pool Guy Gets Jail, Inhumane Behavior, Trouble At the Chicken Farm

Plus, not only did a financial controller in the U.K. get five years for stealing £437,000 from her employer, but she also royally screwed over her co-workers.

Accountant sentenced in federal court for embezzling $470K from family-owned business [St. George News]
Richard William McDonald, an accountant currently living in Greer, SC, was sentenced on Dec. 2 to 24 months in federal prison and placed on 36-months post-prison supervision by the Bureau of Prisons upon his release after admitting to stealing more than $400,000 from a small family-owned pool supply business in St. George, UT, over the course of several years—a loss that nearly resulted in the shuttering of the business.

McDonald, 46, who was sentenced on one count of wire fraud, devised a scheme to defraud Johansen’s Pool Service, where he worked as the company’s accountant, using various means to take money from the company, authorities said.

From 2016 until the end of 2018, McDonald used the pool business’s fuel card to pay for his and his family’s personal travel expenses. He also overpaid himself with unauthorized payroll payments from one of the business accounts he controlled. In addition, McDonald made bank transfers from the company’s accounts to pay various personal credit card debt, including an $11,720 check that was sent to American Express.

To conceal the theft, McDonald falsified accounting records to lead the owners to believe the company’s creditor accounts were current. It wasn’t until September 2018 that the owner was notified that several of the company’s credit line accounts were past due, at which point authorities were contacted.

Former Eau Claire County Humane Association accountant will serve time behind bars [WQOW-TV]
Nicolle Wilson, the former accountant of the Eau Claire County Humane Association, was sentenced on Dec. 3 to five years in prison and will also serve 10 years probation/extended supervision for stealing $60,000 from the animal shelter.

Police learned she needed the money for a house she was building and that she had previously been convicted of embezzlement and theft in eastern Wisconsin in 1999 and 2001.

Accountant Scott Fleay jailed for stealing more than $4.6 million from WA chicken farmers [Australian Broadcasting Corp. News]
The latest from Down Under:

An accountant and former councillor for one of Perth’s most exclusive suburbs has been sentenced to six years in jail for stealing more than $4.6 million from a wealthy chicken farmer who had entrusted him to look after his financial affairs.

Scott Francis Fleay, 53, was found guilty by a District Court jury of channelling more than $4.6 million from the bank accounts of Ghassan Jabado, known as Gus, and his wife Maria to subsidise his upmarket lifestyle.

That included the purchase of multi-million dollar properties in the wealthy Perth suburbs of Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove, where Fleay was a shire councillor for nine years.

He became the Jabados’ accountant after they sold their Forrestdale chicken farm for $28 million in 2006.

Woman who stole £437,000 from employers to fund new home and ski holidays jailed [MetroUK]
Emma Rhodes, a financial controller who stole more than £437,000 from her employer’s accounts to fund a new home, luxury holidays, expensive jewelry, and a car, has been jailed for five years.

Emma Rhodes

Rhodes, 37, fleeced manufacturing firm Norco GRP over a two and a half year period. She wrote bogus emails to persuade her partner she had earned £89,000 in bonuses to allay his suspicions about her new-found wealth, Bournemouth Crown Court heard. Rhodes blew the stolen money on an £80,000 Range Rover, a £10,000 Rolex, summer and winter getaways, and other lavish items.

And she screwed over her co-workers:

Managing director Mark Northey said the fraud had ‘a significant financial impact’ on the company.

The firm’s 160 staff had to forego their £800 annual bonus because the black hole in the accounts meant fiscal targets were not met.


Other accountants behaving badly:

  • Cannock accountant who stole from employers ordered to pay back £54,000 [Express & Star]
  • Accountant avoids jail after stealing £23k from her employers [Daily Gazette]
  • Charity fraud accountant who stole £47,000 ordered to repay £1 [BBC News]
  • Machhiwara market committee accountant held on graft charges [Hindustan Times]
  • Egyptian accountant arrested for embezzling 2 million dinars from Kuwait [Gulf News]
  • Village accountant sentenced to two years [The Hindu]

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