A former Ametek Inc. manager used correction fluid and scissors to doctor business receipts and defraud the electronics company of more than $600,000, federal prosecutors in Philadelphia said.
Christopher Stehm, 51, of Mason, Ohio, was accused of wire fraud and filing false tax returns in a charging document known as an information. Stehm was Ametek’s chief accounting officer in offices in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Cincinnati from January 2006 to November 2012, U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger said in a statement.
Stehm cut off tops of receipts and whited out parts that he submitted with expense reimbursement claims to make them appear business-related, according to the charging document. He allegedly used copies of the same receipts to support multiple claims, which included money for repairs to his car, meals and the purchase of a dog.
“We’re negotiating with the government,” Hope Lefeber, Stehm’s attorney in Philadelphia, said in a phone interview. Stehm hasn’t yet entered a plea, Lefeber said.
If convicted, Stehm faces a maximum prison sentence of 46 years plus a $1 million fine, according to the statement from Memeger’s office.
Kevin Coleman, a spokesman for Berwyn, Pennsylvania-based Ametek, said Stehm was not part of the company’s corporate team and instead was a finance manager at a subsidiary. Coleman declined to comment on the specific charges.
“He was a mid-level management type employee,” Coleman said in a phone interview. “He worked at one of multiple business units that report up through Ametek.”
Stehm worked for Ametek as the controller of the company’s “Chandler division” in Oklahoma, according to the charging document. He was promoted in April 2010 to vice president of finance in the company’s “HCC division” in Cincinnati. In both positions, Stehm oversaw the submission of claims for business expenses, making sure expense claims complied with Ametek’s policy and training Ametek employees on review procedures for expense reports, according to the charging document.
The case is U.S. v. Stehm, 13-cr-00568, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).