58-year-old Charles Shaffer has been ordered to serve two to four years in prison for stealing nearly $400,000 from his employer to fund a nine-year-long coke habit.
According to testimony, Shaffer stole $381,361 from telecommunications consulting firm Icore Inc. between 2001 and 2010 by writing checks to himself from a medical expense reimbursement employee fund.$381,361 over a nine year period really isn’t that bad of a cocaine habit, unless the guy was buying crap $20 grams from club kids. Think about it… if he was snorting up a really good gram a day at $100 a gram that’s $36,500 a year, but doesn’t take into account high-stress, high-use days like holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and yearly internal audits. Oh wait, obviously they didn’t care about that last one.
“He stole money from Icore, put it up his nose and Icore suffered the consequences,” said Lehigh County Judge Robert L. Steinberg in his decision.
The saddest part of this story (besides the part where the cokehead robs his employer for 9 years and no one seemed to notice) is that Shaffer’s actions very nearly caused the small company, which employs about 15, almost went under had they not had insurance and taken out a loan to stay afloat. “We came pretty close to shutting the doors,” said company VP Paul Kutches in testimony. “(Shaffer) was entrusted to make sure the finances were on the right path.” They were on the right path, alright, straight up his nose. “I would just hope this court imposes a sentence that reminds Mr. Shaffer of stabbing his friends in the back every day,” said Kutches when asked what sort of sentence he’d like to see his former employee receive in this case.
Shaffer started with the company in 1997, however company bank records only go back to 2001. Company officials first contacted investigators in June 2010 when they discovered missing money and Shaffer was arrested the following August. At that time, he signed over his $33,634 company retirement plan and forfeited his $80,000 a year salary.
Now that he’s off the powdered sauce, Shaffer is showing signs of regret for his actions. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel remorseful,” he told the judge.
Remember, kids: internal controls are an awesome, awesome thing.
Accountant gets prison for embezzling to buy drugs [Morning Call]