Employee Charged with Defrauding Chester County-Based Employer
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 21, 2013|
PHILADELPHIA—Christopher Stehm, 51, of Mason, Ohio, was charged today by information with defrauding his employer, Berwyn-based Ametek Inc., of at least $659,731, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. According to the information, Stehm was the chief accounting officer at two different offices of the company when he submitted phony claims for expense reimbursements, many of which he supported with doctored receipts. Stehm is charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of filing false tax returns.
Stehm was the controller for Ametek’s Chandler division in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, from about January 2006 through March 2010. In April 2010, Ametek promoted Stehm to be the vice president of finance at its HCC division in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Stehm held that position until November 2012. In both positions, Stehm was his office’s chief accounting officer. According to the information, throughout his employment at Ametek, Stehm used a variety of methods to obtain “reimbursements” for expenses that he either never incurred or that were wholly personal in nature. These methods allegedly included cutting off the tops of receipts or “whiting out” portions of receipts that Stehm submitted with his expense reimbursement claims to make them appear to be business-related. Stehm also allegedly used copies of the same receipts to support multiple expense reimbursement claims.
Ametek is a publicly traded company (symbol AME on the New York Stock Exchange) that manufactures electronic instruments and electromechanical devices for sale in numerous countries. The company is headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, but it has offices in numerous locations in the U.S. and overseas.
The information alleges that among the numerous personal expenses Stehm submitted for reimbursement from Ametek were repairs to his personal cars, private meals, and the purchase of a family dog. Stehm also allegedly hid his illegal income from the Internal Revenue Service and claimed baseless deductions when he filed his tax forms for 2010 and 2011, thereby under-reporting his annual income by more than $100,000 in each of those tax years.
If convicted of all charges, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 46 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $1 million fine, and a $400 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark B. Dubnoff.
An indictment or information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.