Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Former Berkeley schools CFO who embezzled $1.2M sentenced to 11 years in SC state prison

-

The man at the heart of one South Carolina’s largest embezzlement schemes will spend more than 16 years behind bars.

The former chief financial officer of the Berkeley County School District was sentenced to 11 years in state prison Friday after pleading guilty to 37 counts.

That comes on top of a previous sentence of more than five years in federal prison.

A circuit judge handed down the sentence to 62-year-old Brantley D. Thomas III, a longtime and once-respected district employee in one of the state’s fastest-growing counties.

- Advertisement -

Thomas will serve the state sentence immediately after he finishes serving 63 months in federal prison. His combined sentences add up to 16¼ years behind bars, about the same amount of time during which he stole from the district.

Circuit Judge Deadra Jefferson also ordered Thomas to pay nearly $1 million in restitution to the school district.

The state and U.S. Attorney’s Office found that Thomas had stolen $1.3 million in total, said Assistant Deputy Attorney General Creighton Waters. The restitution amounts ordered by both offices overlap, and Thomas is ordered to pay back the full amount.

The federal government had discovered approximately $328,000 taken in its investigation. The S.C. Attorney General’s Office found $936,000, which was included in the federal announcement in February. The state grand jury has located other amounts since the federal announcement.

- Advertisement -

The state counts included 24 charges for embezzlement of more than $10,000; eight embezzlement charges less than $10,000; two charges of forgery; one charge of misconduct in office; one breach of trust; and one money-laundering charge.

The Attorney General’s Office said after the initial investigation that Thomas’ misconduct amounted to the largest public embezzlement scheme in recent history and possibly the largest ever.

Prosecutors also said Thomas stole more than $36,000 from Jackson Davenport Vision Center, a Charleston eye care business that employed him as a bookkeeper while he was out on bail in 2017 and 2018. He was also ordered to pay them back.

“The more we looked, the more we found,” Waters said. “I’m sure there is still some out there.”

Waters detailed 16 years of Thomas’ embezzlement, the first of which was found in bank records from Sept. 11, 2001.

He also gave some more details about the embezzlement schemes.

For example, a 2015 check for $25,000 was supposed to be used for legal services for the district. It appeared to be used around the same time that Thomas took his whole family on a vacation to the Cayman Islands.

School district attorney Josh Whitley said Friday’s hearing was a powerful moment for his colleagues.

MUST READ

Germany issues international arrest warrant for founders of law firm at the centre of Panama Papers

Germany has issued international arrest warrants for the two founders of the firm at the centre of the tax haven scandal exposed by the...

Goldman to pay over $2 billion in DOJ’s 1MDB Probe

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has reached a long-awaited pact with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay more than $2 billion for the bank’s...

Ex-managers of Security firm pleads guilty in Santa Clara County concealed gun permit bribery scandal

Two former managers of a Silicon Valley international security firm pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to a bribery scheme to obtain concealed firearms...

Ohio former House Speaker Larry Householder to stand for reelection amid bribery charges

Republican Rep. Larry Householder’s name will be on the ballot Election Day as the disgraced Ohio lawmaker intends to serve his district for another...

Billionaire Robert Smith to Pay $140 million after admitting to tax evasion

Billionaire Robert Smith will pay about $140 million and acknowledge wrongdoing to end a four-year U.S. tax investigation involving assets held in offshore tax...
Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Medical device maker Merit Medical agrees to pay $18m to settle false claims

Medical device maker Merit Medical Systems Inc. (MMSI), of South Jordan, Utah, has agreed to pay $18 million to resolve allegations that the company...

Trial of bitcoin launderer Alexander Vinnik begins in Paris

The trial of a Russian man alleged to have used ransomware in a 135 million euros ($157 million) bitcoin fraud will begin Monday. Alexander Vinnik, who...

Crown Resorts chairman Helen Coonan admits casino ‘enabled’ money laundering

Crown Resorts chairman Helen Coonan has conceded the casino giant facilitated money laundering at its Melbourne casino, but blamed it on "ineptitude" rather than...

Police raids Czech Football Association, arrest vice-president in corruption probe

Czech police have detained 20 people including deputy Czech Football Association head Roman Berbr over alleged corruption and match-fixing following a nationwide raid, news...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks