Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $9 Million From Drilling Company; Blames Gambling Addiction

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on 2/18/14:

Larry Dean Winckler, former chief operating officer of Marcellus shale gas firm Falcon Drilling LLC, pleaded guilty today to federal charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and filing false tax returns, after a prosecutor outlined his embezzlement of $9 million, much of it spent on gambling.

Mr. Winckler, 53, of Indiana, Pa., could face five or six years in prison following a sentencing hearing set for May 30.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Melucci said that Mr. Winckler worked with the company’s controller and an auto parts dealer to funnel money out of the firm from 2004 through 2012.

He wrote checks in the tens of thousand of dollars, sometimes many times in a single month, which he disguised through fake purchases for parts and drill bits, Mr. Melucci said.

The prosecutor said that Mr. Winckler had an “enormous gambling problem” and lost much of the money at casinos in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.


Read the whole story here.

Update (1/27/15):  Winckler was sentenced to 96 months in prison and ordered to pay $10,206,425 in restitution. 

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