Sixth Defendant Pleads Guilty, Sentenced in Connection with Stealing More Than $211,000 from Local Aerospace Company
WOBURN – Yesterday, a Framingham man pled guilty in Middlesex Superior Court in connection with stealing over $211,000 from the Hopkinton company for which one of the co-defendants formerly worked. Eugene Van Buren, age 39, pled guilty to charges of Conspiracy and Larceny over $250 (5 counts). Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Connors sentenced Van Buren to three years of probation, and also ordered him to pay $2,698.15 in restitution back to the company.
On December 18, 2008, three other co-defendants, Frederick Harvey, age 50, of Dorchester, Nicholas Petta, age 40, of Walpole, and Charles Powell, age 46, of Dorchester entered changes of plea and pled guilty in Middlesex Superior Court to various charges of Conspiracy and Larceny over $250. On December 22, 2008, two other defendants Kim Thomas, age 42, her husband Paul Harvey, age 57, both of Roslindale, also pled guilty to charges of Conspiracy and Larceny over $250. Thomas also pled to an additional charge of False Entries in Corporate Books. After their respective pleas, Superior Court Judge Christopher J. Muse sentenced all the defendants as follows:
Paul Harvey: Three months under house arrest, under the supervision of an electronic ankle bracelet followed by three years of probation. Both Paul Harvey and Thomas were ordered to pay $190,000 in restitution back to Thomas’ former employer.
Kim Thomas: 18 months under house arrest on an electronic bracelet, followed by three years of probation. Both Thomas and Paul Harvey were ordered to pay $190,000 in restitution back to Thomas’ former employer.
Nicholas Petta: Three years of probation, must also pay $5,500 in restitution during the course of his probation.
Frederick Harvey: Two years of probation, and ordered to pay $8,500 in restitution during the first year of his probation.
Charles Powell: Three years of probation, and was also ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution.
An investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Office began in January 2007, after the matter was referred by Thomas’ former employer, Barry Controls Division (Barry Controls). From mid-summer 2004 to December 2006, Thomas worked as an Accounts Payable Coordinator for Barry Controls, a company based in Hopkinton. Thomas was responsible for entering invoices into the company’s accounting system and for printing checks payable to the company’s vendors. Investigators found that during her employment at Barry Controls, Thomas issued over 44 unauthorized checks totaling more than $211,000 to Paul Harvey, his brother Fredrick Harvey, Johnson, Powell, Van Buren and Petta. Authorities allege that Thomas would change the name of the vendors on the checks to the names of the other defendants. After those checks were issued, Thomas allegedly would put the vendors name back on the check in the company’s accounting system to make it appear that no changes had been made.
On February 11, 2008, Thomas, Paul Harvey, and Van Buren were all arraigned in the Boston Municipal Court, where they pled not guilty and were released on personal recognizance. On February 6, 2008, three other co-defendants, Powell, Petta, and Frederick Harvey, were also arraigned in Boston Municipal Court and were released after posting bail.
On May 16, 2008, a Middlesex Grand Jury returned indictments against all six defendants. They were all arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on June 13, 2008, where they entered pleas of not guilty and were released on personal recognizance. On December18, 2008, and December 22, 2008, five of the defendants pled guilty and were sentenced. Yesterday, Van Buren entered a change of plea to guilty and was sentenced.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Joseph Eisenstadt for Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Corruption and Fraud Division. The case was investigated by State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office and Investigator Sallyann Nelligan from the Criminal Bureau’s Financial Investigation Division.