Former Beckley lumber company CFO guilty of embezzlement - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Former Beckley lumber company CFO guilty of embezzlement

Posted:
RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVVA) -

The former Chief Financial Officer for a lumber company in Raleigh County faces up to 20 years in federal prison for stealing more than $800,000.

James Matthew Miller, 42, entered a guilty plea to two counts of wire fraud.

According to U.S. Attorney Carol A. Casto, Miller issued payments to a fake vendor, a friend of his, from December 2007 to August 2013. He falsified documents of log inventories and deliveries to cover up the crimes. Casto states that 160 checks were written totaling $822,396.63. Miller's friend would cash the checks and keep a small amount. The rest of the money would go to Miller.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 15. Miller also faces up to $500,000 in fines.

Read the full news release below:

BECKLEY, W.Va. – A former Chief Financial Officer for a Beckley lumber company who embezzled over $800,000 pleaded guilty yesterday, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. James Matthew Miller, 42, entered his guilty plea to two counts of wire fraud.

Miller formerly worked as an executive for a lumber company until September 2013. In his role as Chief Financial Officer, his responsibilities included oversight of log inventories from vendors. From approximately December 31, 2007, to August 30, 2013, Miller admitted that he issued payments to a sham vendor, a close friend of Miller’s, and falsely inflated log inventories to conceal the fraud. He created a fictitious log vendor that has never hauled or delivered logs to the lumber company. Miller also admitted that he created false payment requests and then drafted and signed checks from the lumber company to the fake vendor. The vendor cashed the checks or deposited the checks in his bank account, then provided Miller with the money, minus a small amount Miller permitted the vendor to keep. During the course of the fraud, Miller was responsible for 160 checks totaling $822,396.63 from the company to the sham vendor. Miller admitted that he concealed the fraud and committed wire fraud by submitting company reports based on artificially inflated log inventories, and then emailed the reports to a lumber mill manager in Tennessee and a BB&T in Georgia.

Miller faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count when he is sentenced on March 15, 2018.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is in charge of the prosecution. United States District Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the plea hearing.

Powered by Frankly