When Robert Burton of Madisonville, Louisiana, was president of Omnis Health Inc., he embezzled more than $760,000 from the Nashville-based company through fraudulent reimbursement claims. Burton, 50, pled guilty to his embezzlement scheme in early May. He now faces at least 20 years in prison as part of his plea deal.
Faking reimbursement receipts
Burton’s scheme centered on claiming to buy diabetic testing supplies to research competitive products to Omnis’ testing kits. However, he supplied fake receipts from Amazon for these products, which only showed items placed in his cart, but not purchased. Over three years, Burton received $484,328 for supplies he never actually bought. Burton also received $203,747 in fraudulent flight reimbursements and $102,056 in fraudulent credit card expenditures.
As part of the investigation into this case, the Justice Department discovered Burton didn’t deposit his reimbursements, but rather used them to purchase prepaid debit cards. Officials believe he used many of the funds for gambling.
Burton also faces charges of wire fraud and tax fraud. He’s accused of claiming a $295,129 income loss between 2014 and 2017.
What embezzlement entails
Anytime an employee uses company funds for their own personal benefit, as Burton did, can result in embezzlement charges. Embezzlement is a form of theft. It can be a state or federal crime, depending on the business or organization that was the victim of the theft. In Louisiana, embezzlement charges become felony charges if more than $700 is stolen.
If you or a loved one ever face embezzlement charges, you’ll need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can review the case to see what best steps are to defend against the charges and face lower penalties.