Former 3M Engineer Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $5.6 Million from Company
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 13, 2010|
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that on December 10, 2010, a Brookings, South Dakota man appeared before U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange and pled guilty to an information charging mail fraud. Former 3M engineer David Beulke, age 62, admitted to devising an embezzlement scheme that lasted over 15 years and resulted in a total theft from 3M of $5,610,563.
Court documents detail Beulke's scheme, in which he created fraudulent businesses and held them out to 3M as legitimate vendors of specialized parts. Beulke would then cause 3M to place orders for supposed parts with those fake businesses, knowing those orders were fraudulent. When 3M would send money for those phony parts orders, Beulke would receive and keep the money. Pleadings indicate that $2,479,690.72 was seized from various investment and retirement accounts that Beulke funded with stolen money.
"This was a large-scale scheme that was highly orchestrated and went undetected for many years." U.S. Attorney Johnson said. "I am encouraged by our ability to initially recover a large sum of the stolen money, and I hope this prosecution will deter others."
The maximum penalty for mail fraud is 20 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. Beulke will also be ordered to pay restitution. He was released pending sentencing which is scheduled for April 1, 2011.
This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Koliner is prosecuting the case.