The former CEO of a local electric utility company, headquartered in Avon, Indianapolis was charged last week with defrauding the utility of more than $500,000 over six years. The CEO in question has agreed to plead guilty to the charge against him. He’s accused of using his position as CEO to embezzle nearly half a million dollars, which federal prosecutors say he used to buy jewelry, iPads and pay for personal vacations, according to U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said.
U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said “CEOs hold positions of special trust and authority, not only in the companies they serve but as leaders in society. We expect them to act with integrity. Exploiting that special trust for personal gain is an egregious crime, especially when those defrauded are friends and neighbors in a community that the CEO was hired to serve. This Office will vigorously prosecute such crimes, doing its part to ensure that business leaders act with the integrity we expect.”
An example of some purchases includes claiming and receiving approximately $650 for a purported business entertainment expense. However, the CEO in question had actually purchased a black sapphire bracelet and Mont Blanc pen from a local jewelry store for personal use. Also, claiming and receiving $1,250 for sponsoring a business-related dinner event which later revealed was used to purchase a Eurail train pass for a family vacation in Europe. No amount was too small, on a January 2012 expense report the accused claimed and received approximately $20 for a business lunch. According to the charges, however, this claim actually related to a pizza delivery ordered to the CEOs home on a Friday night.
The accused faces up to 20 years in prison, a substantial fine, and an order to pay restitution.