Former Corporate Controller of Clyde’s Restaurant Group Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Over $600,000
Theft Spanned 10 Years
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 26, 2012|
WASHINGTON—Nancy Preston, 55, who worked at Clyde’s Restaurant Group from 1982 to 2011, pled guilty today to a federal charge of mail fraud for her embezzlement of approximately $647,547, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr. and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Preston, of Vienna, Virginia, pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Rudolph Contreras scheduled her sentencing for December 12, 2012. Preston faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison as well as fines and other penalties. As part of her plea agreement, she agreed to sign over $258,000 worth of equity-based incentive stock awards and/or options to Clyde’s and agreed to additional forfeiture of a money judgment of $389,069.
According to a statement of offense, signed by the defendant as well as the government, from approximately 1992 to September 2011, Preston was the corporate controller for Clyde’s. In that position, she oversaw the centralized accounting function, which included budget matters, accounts payable, and accounts receivable, among other responsibilities.
From 2001 to 2011, Preston embezzled approximately $647,547 from Clyde’s by diverting Clyde’s money to pay her personal credit card; charging the corporate credit cards in Clyde’s name (and paid by Clyde’s money) to pay for her unauthorized personal expenses; and using a Clyde’s vendor (paid by Clyde’s funds) to obtain goods for her personal use.
Preston also attempted to hide her embezzlement. Among other things, she asked a vendor to alter invoices for personal items that she purchased to falsely reflect that Clyde’s purchased different items; fabricated e-mail messages, which purportedly sought reimbursement for items purchased by Clyde’s or Clyde’s corporate officers when, in fact, the resulting Clyde’s check paid for Preston’s personal credit card bill and categorized credit card expenses as belonging to corporate officers’ training when the expenses were for personal matters for Preston. When Preston learned of an audit on the corporate credit cards, she falsified her Clyde’s corporate credit card statement to delete those items which she knew were not authorized business expenses.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Saler, who assisted with the forfeiture aspects of the case, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan B. Menzer, and Paralegal Specialist Donna Galindo. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Cheatham, who is prosecuting the case.