Village Market Food Centers’ Comptroller Sentenced to 87 Months in Prison for Stealing from Company
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 29, 2013|
GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Christopher Earl Pratt, 42, of Portage, Michigan, was sentenced today to 87 months (seven years and three months) in federal prison for defrauding his former employer, Village Market Food Centers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today. In addition to the prison term, Chief U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney imposed a three-year term of supervised release that will commence once Pratt is released from imprisonment. In addition to the prison and supervised release terms, Pratt was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,548,706.30, and he was ordered to forfeit an additional $6,548,706.30 to the government.
Pratt abused his position as comptroller to steal from Village Market, nearly putting the company out of business and resulting in the closure of at least three stores and the termination of 170 employees. Pratt concealed his crime from Village Market, which did not discover the theft until Pratt stole nearly $7 million over seven to eight years. Pratt used the stolen money primarily to purchase and refurbish “muscle-cars” including 14 Ford Mustangs, seven Chevrolet Chevelles, four Dodge Challengers, five Chevrolet Camaros, four Jeep Wranglers, three Buick Skylarks, two Plymouth Barracudas, one Plymouth Fury, one Pontiac GTO, and one Ford Torino. The FBI recovered many of those vehicles, and they were turned over to a receiver seeking to recover assets on behalf of Village Market.
The case was investigated by the FBI in St. Joseph, Michigan.