Ex-Controller Faces Long Prison Term
BINGHAMTON, NY—Brian Steele, a former controller of Dataflow Inc., pleaded guilty to grand larceny and forgery in a Broome Country courtroom in mid-February, the Central New York Business Journal reported. Steele admitted to stealing roughly $950,000 from the family owned printing company, which has offices in eight upstate New York communities.
Steele confessed to stealing the money between January 2005 and June 2010 while in the company's employ, the paper said. Scheduled to be sentenced in May, he is facing a state prison sentence of four to 12 years. Dataflow ownership is also pursuing civil charges against Steele.
According to Julie McCormick, a member of the family that owns the 53-year-old digital printing and document management firm, the company has managed to weather the financial fallout from the theft through "careful and often painful financial stewardship. Since the fraud was uncovered in early 2010, we have been working night and day to negotiate with vendors and restructure our financing. It has not been easy, but we've survived the storm."
Steele and his wife reportedly lived a lavish lifestyle at the expense of Dataflow, purchasing multiple automobiles, expensive jewelry and taking weekend getaways, the company revealed in a release.
Steele forged company checks, made fraudulent wire transfers of company funds, set up phony credit card accounts and took petty cash, Dataflow claims. He reportedly hid the thievery via doctored financial records.