Some people in South Carolina may have heard about an executive with MillerCoors who was facing charges of fraud. The man had participated with others in a scheme from 2003 to 2013 that cost the company over $8.6 million. On May 16, he was sentenced to 46 months in prison. An assistant U.S. attorney on the case asked for a sentence of 64 months. She acknowledged that he was the one who had tipped off prosecutors to the scheme but also said that he had committed “the ultimate betrayal.” The man, a former vice-president, had worked his way up through the company.
The scheme involved writing fake invoices for events and promotions and charging MillerCoors for them. Prior to the man’s sentencing, the judge dealt with seven other people who were also involved.
The 60-year-old man, who entered a guilty plea in 2016 for wire fraud, apologized for his involvement. He said that he had become caught up in what he called “the rat race.”
Fraud and similar types of charges are often referred to as white-collar crime, but this does not mean that they are less serious. Some white-collar crimes may be linked to drug trafficking and other larger-scale enterprises, but others are limited in scope. However, as this case demonstrates, even those that are more limited can carry severe penalties. In this case, if the man had not confessed to prosecutors, he might have been given a longer sentence. People faced with both white-collar and other types of crimes may be able to strike a plea bargain with the prosecution, or they may prefer to plead not guilty and go to court. An attorney may be able to help with a plea bargain or with defense in a trial.