Former Chief Financial Officer/Senior Vice President of Paric Construction Indicted on Fraud Charges
ST. LOUIS, MO—Brian Paluch, former Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President of PARIC Construction was indicted on three charges of mail fraud involving his scheme to use the company’s corporate funds to pay his own personal expenses during the period January, 2010 through February, 2014.
According to the indictment, Paluch used the PARIC issued American Express card to pay for personal expenses, including personal travel, dining, spa charges, electronics and personal gifts for family and friends. In order to conceal his scheme, Paluch submitted false and altered financial summaries of the monthly American Express statements by deleting and altering his own personal charges. On several occasions, Paluch forged the PARIC President’s signature on these false financial summaries as purported authorization for the payments. Additionally, as part of his employment at PARIC, Paluch was permitted to join the Sunset Country Club, and PARIC paid the monthly membership dues. Paluch, on behalf of PARIC entered into an agreement with Sunset for the purchase of various types of apparel and golf items containing the PARIC corporate logo. The indictment alleges that Paluch created sham and inflated Sunset Country Club invoices to pay for personal items at the club unrelated to the legitimate business of PARIC. In his position as CFO, Paluch was responsible for calculating the annual bonuses for PARIC’s employees, including his own. As a further part of his scheme, Paluch inflated his base salary in calculating his own annual bonus for several years. Paluch also assisted a PARIC employee issue corporate checks to pay for the employee’s daughter’s private school tuition without PARIC’s knowledge. Additionally, during Summer, 2011, Paluch directed the payment of $5000 in PARIC corporate funds to a St. Louis area law firm as an incentive for that law firm to hire his niece as a summer associate.
Paluch, 58, Kirkwood, Missouri, was indicted by a federal grand jury on three felony counts of mail fraud. He is expected to appear in federal court later this week.
If convicted, each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The victim, PARIC Construction Company provided assistance in the investigation.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.