Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Two PBS&J executives sentenced to prison for $35 million embezzlement scheme

Two former PBS&J execs sentenced in embezzlement

July 17, 2007

The Associated Press
Copyright 2007

MIAMI - Two former executives at the PBS&J engineering and construction firm were sentenced to prison Tuesday for their roles in a $35 million embezzlement scheme that took place over a 10-year period.

W. Scott DeLoach, PBS&J's former chief financial officer, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King to more than eight years. Rosario Licata, formerly an accounts payable supervisor, was sentenced to more than five years behind bars.

Those two and a third former employee, Maria Garcia, pleaded guilty last year to embezzling money from the firm and spending it on expensive cars, yachts, jewelry, lavish homes and gambling. King delayed sentencing Garcia until Thursday to consider whether she deserved less time because of extensive cooperation.

John Zumwalt, chief executive officer at Tampa-based PBS&J, said the embezzlement "rocked the industry" and that the three had "betrayed their fellow employees" through their actions.

"They flaunted their lifestyles openly in front of their fellow employees," Zumwalt said.

DeLoach also was ordered to pay more than $18 million in restitution and Licata more than $6 million. They were ordered to surrender for prison on Sept. 5.

PBS&J, formerly based in Miami, has about 4,000 employees and 75 offices around the world, according to the company's Web site.

© 2007 The Associated Press: www.ap.org

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