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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