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Pennsylvania man charged with embezzling from company

An Indiana County, Pennsylvania, man was arrested and charged with of embezzling close to $1 million from his employer, a drilling company. The white collar arrest came after the company's controller told police that the man had been having her write checks and create false invoices. The 51-year-old man was arrested on Feb. 13 and arraigned that same day on 29 counts of theft by unlawful taking and 29 counts of receiving stolen property.

The criminal complaint alleged that the first time the man approached the controller about six years ago, he told her he desperately needed money and asked her to write a check for thousands of dollars from the company's account. Over the years, according to the complaint, he asked the controller for several checks per month. Some of the checks were for tens of thousands of dollars, but were always under $50,000. He allegedly told the controller to write some checks for herself.

The complaint claimed that bank records showed that the man also spent $6,000 on a company credit card in February 2012. Most of the money on the credit card was spent at casinos, perhaps signaling that the defendant suffers from a gambling addiction. The owner of the company gave prosecutors copies of 29 checks that he believed the man wrote to fake companies. Those checks totaled $995,000.

As of mid-March, court records did not list an attorney for the man. A Pennsylvania state police trooper said that the federal authorities might take the case because of the scope of the matter.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Man charged with embezzling $1 million from drilling firm," Moriah Balingit, Feb. 14, 2012

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