It is about a five-hour drive southeast of Greenville to Sea Pines Resort. The Hilton Head Island playground is known for its golf course and beaches. The vacation spot has recently made headlines after accusing a former executive of embezzling $1.4 million over a dozen years.
A recent news article states that the former VP is also under investigation for white collar crimes while he was in charge of food and beverage for the resort.
According to a lawsuit filed by Sea Pines, the former vice president authorized fraudulent payments to a sham company he set up. He created false invoices and then approved them, allegedly coding them in a way that made the ruse difficult to detect.
A spokesperson for the FBI declined to confirm or deny that the federal agency is investigating the former executive, citing department policy against making such statements.
A spokesperson for the resort also declined to comment.
According to a Lowcountry news source, the alleged embezzlement has been traced back to 2006, but the resort states that it might go back even further. An accounting system change a dozen years ago apparently makes that impossible to determine.
An attorney quoted in the news article states that with news of an FBI investigation, it becomes “possible (that) if charges are brought, they’ll be federal.”
It is pointed out in the article that the U.S. Sentencing Commission recommends a “maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years or more” for a “base offense level” embezzlement conviction. The lawyer said that the judge in any potential white collar crime case against the former VP would take the recommendations “as an advisory” tool, while retaining discretion to make punishment fit the offense and defendant.
Those who face similarly harsh penalties should speak with an attorney experienced in embezzlement, fraud and other white collar defenses.