The former chief financial officer (CFO) of international PR firm, Racepoint Global, has been charged with embezzling over $3.6 million from the company.
Edward Abell has been charged with wire fraud and money laundering, over the decade he worked for the company.
Abell allegedly wrote company cheques to a firm that he owned, Pinehurst Tax Associates, but did not provide any services to US-based Racepoint Global, which the US Attorney’s office alleges is a shell company that Abell used to channel the embezzled funds.
Abell served as vice president of finance and later chief financial officer, between 2006 and 2016, overseeing all aspects of the company’s finances and with full control of all the corporate bank accounts.
The former CFO allegedly created fake profiles for Pinehurst within Racepoint’s internal vendor database and attributed all the fraudulent payments to Pinehurst as “Professional Services” in the financial accounting system.
Abell also allegedly filed false personal tax returns with the American government’s tax collection agency, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which failed to report the millions he obtained through Pinehurst.
Several of Abell’s assets were also seized, including a 2015 Porsche Macan S, a 2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty, and an E*TRADE brokerage account, all owned by Abell or held in his name.
If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for wire fraud and up to ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for money laundering.
He has been removed from the company website of his most recent employer, Bulger Partners, a management consulting and investment banking firm where he had served as CFO since September this year.
It is understood that Racepoint Global is cooperating with the authorities.