Centre Hall man charged with defrauding employer of $218,000
CENTRE HALL — Patrick Henry Stewart, 53, of Centre Hall, was charged on Oct. 16, in a criminal information with making interstate wire transfers to defraud his former employer, Nittany Valley Paper Mills in Lewistown, of approximately $218,098.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the information charges that, between June 2014 and March 2016, while employed as the vice president for operations, Stewart fraudulently charged personal goods and services on Nittany Paper Mills credit card accounts and transferred company funds to pay his personal credit card bills.
The information alleges that Stewart also fraudulently transferred funds from the Nittany Paper Mills checking account to 529 education accounts for his children, and he arranged off-the books sales of inventory resulting in the direct deposit of funds into his personal accounts.
The information also alleges that Stewart made fraudulent adjusting entries in the Nittany Paper Mills internal accounting system to conceal the wire fraud scheme.
Under the terms of a plea agreement filed with the information, Stewart has agreed to plead guilty to the wire fraud offense and pay restitution in an amount to be determined by the sentencing judge.
The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prosecution of this matter has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 20 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.