Money Grows on Trees for Nursery Bookkeeper
in Legal Tips

Money Grows on Trees for Nursery Bookkeeper

The bookkeeper for a family-owned tree nursery in North Carolina pleaded guilty to embezzling more than one million dollars over a six-year period.

Richard Clark began working for the nursery in 2003, and in 2013 started writing checks to himself from the company. He covered his tracks by altering the check descriptions in Quickbooks. In 2016 Clark’s employer changed addresses and asked Clark to close one of the company’s bank accounts. Clark kept the account open and maintained the old address, which he gave to customers who were mailing checks to the company, and to receive bank correspondence. Clark then wrote himself checks from this account without his employer’s knowledge.

Clark used $50,000 of the stolen funds for a home theatre, $80,000 for his mortgage, and $20,000 for a Ford F-250. In 2016 he excluded more than $21,000 from his personal income tax return and in 2017 did not file a return, creating a tax loss of $68,918.

Clark was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $194,750 to the IRS, and $980,000 in restitution to his former employer.

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