Former Chief Financial Officer/Senior Vice President of Paric Construction Sentenced on Fraud Charges
ST. LOUIS, MO—Brian Paluch, former Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President of PARIC Construction was sentenced late yesterday to 38 months in prison on charges involving his scheme to use the company’s corporate funds to pay his own personal expenses during the period January 2010 through February 2014. In addition to the prison sentence, he was ordered to pay $393,659 restitution to PARIC, and a $15,000 fine.
According to testimony presented at trial, 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. 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. 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, 59, Kirkwood, MO, was convicted of three counts of mail fraud last August, and appeared Monday for sentencing before United States District Judge Richard Webber.
This case was investigated by the Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney John Ware and Dianna Collins handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The victim, PARIC Construction Company provided assistance in the investigation.