Nancy Preston, 55, who worked at Clydeâ€™s Restaurant Group from 1982 to 2011, pled guilty today to a federal charge of mail fraud for her embezzlement of approximately $647,547, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr. and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBIâ€™s Washington Field Office.
Preston, of Vienna pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Rudolph Contreras scheduled her sentencing for December 12, 2012. Preston faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison as well as fines and other penalties. As part of her plea agreement, she agreed to sign over $258,000 worth of equity-based incentive stock awards and/or options to Clydeâ€™s and agreed to additional forfeiture of a money judgment of $389,069.
According to a statement of offense, signed by the defendant as well as the government, from approximately 1992 to September 2011, Preston was the corporate controller for Clydeâ€™s. In that position, she oversaw the centralized accounting function, which included budget matters, accounts payable, and accounts receivable, among other responsibilities.
From 2001 to 2011, Preston embezzled approximately $647,547 from Clydeâ€™s by diverting Clydeâ€™s money to pay her personal credit card; charging the corporate credit cards in Clydeâ€™s name (and paid by Clydeâ€™s money) to pay for her unauthorized personal expenses; and using a Clydeâ€™s vendor (paid by Clydeâ€™s funds) to obtain goods for her personal use.
Preston also attempted to hide her embezzlement. Among other things, she asked a vendor to alter invoices for personal items that she purchased to falsely reflect that Clydeâ€™s purchased different items; fabricated e-mail messages, which purportedly sought reimbursement for items purchased by Clydeâ€™s or Clydeâ€™s corporate officers when, in fact, the resulting Clydeâ€™s check paid for Prestonâ€™s personal credit card bill and categorized credit card expenses as belonging to corporate officersâ€™ training when the expenses were for personal matters for Preston. When Preston learned of an audit on the corporate credit cards, she falsified her Clydeâ€™s corporate credit card statement to delete those items which she knew were not authorized business expenses.