For Immediate Release - April 21, 2010

Medford Man Sentenced to Four to Five Years in State Prison for Stealing Millions of Dollars From Former Employer and Client

BOSTON - Today, a Medford man pled guilty and was sentenced to serve jail time in State Prison for stealing millions of dollars from his former employer and covering those thefts by overbilling two companies with whom he conducted business, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

George Papadopoulos, age 48, pled guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to the charges of Larceny over $250 (4 counts), and Procurement Fraud. Following the change of plea, Superior Court Judge Carol Ball sentenced Papadopoulos to serve four to five years in State Prison on the charge of Larceny over $250 (3 counts). Judge Ball also ordered that Papadopoulos serve five years of probation after the completion of his State Prison sentence on the remaining count of Larceny over $250 and on the charge of Procurement Fraud. Papadopoulos was also ordered to notify any future employers of his conviction.

"We are very pleased with the results of this case, and the sentence handed down by Judge Ball which demonstrates that these crimes will be met with strong penalties," Attorney General Coakley said. "Companies are already struggling in this economy and fraud committed by their employees puts a significant strain on these businesses. Our office is committed to holding those who abuse their position of trust responsible for their deceptive actions."

In May 2009, the Attorney General's Office began investigating Papadopoulos's activities. Papadopoulos worked at a large construction management company in the Greater Boston area, and was a vice president from 2007 until his departure in January 2009. During a four-year period between 2004 through 2008, Papadopoulos regularly submitted requests for expense reimbursements to his employer. He certified that each of these reimbursements was for legitimate business expenses that he had incurred. However, investigators discovered that Papadopoulos routinely submitted reimbursement requests that contained fake receipts, invoices, and correspondence. The company relied on Papadopoulos's fraudulent documentation and paid him approximately $3 million dollars in reimbursements.

Investigators discovered that Papadopoulos hid these thefts by subsequently overbilling two clients that used the construction services of his former employer. Investigators discovered that the bills he sent to these two clients contained falsified expenses and labor that roughly equaled the $3 million he stole from his former employer.

After being terminated from the construction company, Papadopoulos began working for another construction management company. Upon being hired, Papadopoulos's new employer offered to reimburse him for moving expenses. Papadopoulos stole a total of $15,000 from the new employer by submitting fraudulent expense reports and invoices for moving expenses that he did not actually incur.

On December 12, 2009, Papadopoulos was arrested at his residence in Medford by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office. He was arraigned on December 14, 2009, in Boston Municipal Court where he entered a plea of not guilty. Judge David Poole set bail at $25,000, which Papadopoulos subsequently posted. On February 10, 2010, a Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Papadopoulos. On February 23, 2010, he was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court where he entered a plea of not guilty and was released on the previously posted bail. Today, Papadopoulos pled guilty to all charges and was sentenced to serve four to five years in State Prison, followed by five years probation.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General David Waterfall and Marc Jones of Attorney General Coakley's Corruption and Fraud Division and was investigated by Financial Investigators Mark Pulli and James McFadden, along with assistance from the State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office.