Former lumber CFO guilty of embezzling over $800,000

Photo By Jason Morrison

BECKLEY, W.Va. – A former lumber executive is facing up to 20 years in federal prison for embezzling more than $800,000 from a Beckley, West Virginia-based company.  Federal prosecutors say James Matthew Miller, 42, pleaded guilty on Dec. 7 to two counts of wire fraud.

Miller also faces fines up to $250,000 on each of the wire fraud counts. He will be sentenced on March 15, 2018.

Miller was the former CFO at an unnamed Beckley lumber company until September 2013. According to a statement from U.S. Attorney Carol Casto,
from approximately Dec. 31, 2007, to Aug. 30, 2013, Miller issued payments to a fake log vendor who was a close friend. The vendor cashed or deposited the checks in his bank account, then gave Miller the money, minus a small fee.

Miller also admitted to inflating company log inventories to conceal the fraud. Reports were emailed to a lumber mill manager in Tennessee and a BB&T in Georgia, resulting in the two counts of wire fraud.

An FBI investigation found Miller responsible for 160 checks totaling $822,396.63, issued from the company to the fake vendor over the six-year period.



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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at [email protected]