Jeffrey Plimpton, 59, was found to have taken the money from two businesses, sending the majority of the money “at the direction of a woman with whom he had an online relationship,” according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Shardul Desai.
Plimpton took the money from fragrance company Alpha Aromatics and its subsidiary, pest control company Pestco Professional Services, as he had access to the funds because he served as a controller at Alpha.
And although Plimpton used $13,000 of the money to pay for his mortgage and a further $69,000 to pay credit card bills, the remaining money – which amounted to around $1.39m – was sent oversees to Malaysia.
Plimpton believed the money was being sent to a woman he had an online relationship with and that she was going to invest the money.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shardul Desai said the situation was a classic “romance fraud-type situation”.
The embezzlement was originally uncovered after an internal accounting review by Alpha Aromatics in December last year, which led to Plimpton being fired.
He initially admitted to taking the money when confronted by company officials, saying he had “invested company funds in offshore accounts,” and had since paid back $50,000, before fully admitting to his crime to the FBI.
And Desai said: “It’s definitely fair to say the money’s gone. It wasn’t a legitimate person for the money to go to.”
Public defender Linda Cohn said in court: “There’s no indication that it actually was a woman. That was someone Mr. Plimpton believed was a woman.
“He also wants the court to know how truly sorry for his conduct he is, your honor.”
Plimpton is currently released on bond and will return to court for sentencing on 15th December 2016, where he is expected to be charged with 33-41 months in prison.