A Mason man is facing criminal charges after federal authorities say he padded corporate expense accounts by more than $650,000, some of which he spent dining out and buying a pet dog.
Christopher Stehm, 51, was charged Monday with defrauding his employer, Ametek Inc., of at least $659,731, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia announced.
Stehm served as chief accounting officer of the Pennsylvania-based electronic manufacturer’s offices in Oklahoma and Cincinnati.
Authorities say he submitted phony claims for expense reimbursements, many of which he supported with doctored receipts.
Those methods allegedly included cutting off the tops of receipts or “whiting out” portions of receipts that Stehm submitted with his expense reimbursement claims to make them appear to be business-related. Stehm also allegedly used copies of the same receipts to support multiple expense reimbursement claims.
Stehm allegedly used funds from the phony claims to pay for repairs to his personal cars, private meals and the purchase of a family dog, among other personal expenses.
Stehm also faces two counts of wire fraud and two counts of filing false tax returns after investigators say he hid the illegal income from the IRS and claimed baseless deductions on his 2010 and 2011 income tax returns that under-reported his annual income by more than $100,000 in each of those years.
The FBI and the Criminal Investigations unit of the IRS teamed up in investigating the case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark B. Dubnoff.
If convicted, Stehm faces a maximum of 46 years in prison and a $1 million fine.