Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Virginia Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling Nearly $2.3 Million From Seafood Concern

Leslie M. Coffman, 60, of Norfolk, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to charges admitting she embezzled nearly $2.3 million from Ballard Fish & Oyster Co., Inc. where she had been employed as an administrator and bookkeeper for some 20 years. According to authorities, Coffman wrote checks to pay personal expenses and then attempted to cover up the thefts by creating false entries in the company's books. Coffman pleaded guilty to mail fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison upon sentencing, which is scheduled for this June. The thefts spanned a five year period between 2005 and 2010 and totaled $2,293,696, according to prosecutors. The Virginian-Pilot quoted company president, Chad Ballard as saying, "She was a very trusted employee...She was what I would call one of our major employees. She was the head bookkeeper. She had a lot of leeway."

Read the story here, here and here.

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