Monday, July 30, 2007

Third PBS&J employee sentenced to prison for $36 million embezzlement scheme lasting 10 years

Third PBS&J Employee Sent to Prison


The Associated Press
Copyright 2007

MIAMI — A third former employee at engineering and construction company PBS&J was sentenced to prison Monday after pleading guilty to taking part in a $36 million embezzlement scheme.

Maria Garcia, 44, a former finance systems manager at the firm, was sentenced to more than five years in prison by Senior U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King. Garcia is also required to pay $9.5 million in restitution to the company.

Garcia's lawyers had asked King to sentence her to only home confinement because she disclosed the decade-long embezzlement to investigators and alerted them to possible campaign finance irregularities involving others at the company.

But prosecutors said Garcia's assistance fell short of the extensive cooperation necessary for such leniency and had actually sought a sentence three months longer than King imposed. Garcia attorney Benson Weintraub indicated he may appeal the sentence.

Garcia, former Chief Financial Officer W. Scott DeLoach and Rosario Licata, a former accounts payable supervisor, pleaded guilty to embezzling money from the firm and spending it on expensive cars, yachts, jewelry, lavish homes and gambling. DeLoach and Licata were also sentenced to prison by King.

© 2007 The Associated Press:

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