Embezzlement sentencing for former Worth Simms Holdings CFO delayed

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The previous CFO of Price Simms Holdings, which manages a number of California dealerships, shall be sentenced March 29 after pleading responsible final yr to embezzling greater than $1.6 million from the corporate — cash partly spent on luxurious objects from Chanel and Hermes.

Christopher Firle was initially scheduled to be sentenced this previous Tuesday in federal courtroom in California on one depend of wire fraud earlier than the date was moved again. He faces a most sentence of 20 years in jail.

Firle was charged in February 2021, and he pleaded responsible in July. As a part of his plea, he agreed to pay greater than $1.9 million in restitution to his former employer and to forfeit almost $1.7 million to the U.S. authorities, in line with a launch from the Division of Justice.

The discharge refers back to the firm the place Firle labored solely as “a holding firm that managed a number of automobile dealerships.” A submitting in a separate civil go well with associated to the embezzlement recognized Worth Simms because the dealership holding firm that Firle stole from. Worth Simms CEO Adam Simms declined to remark to Automotive Information.

Firle labored for the corporate from September 2015 to October 2019, and the primary incident of embezzlement occurred in January 2016, in line with courtroom paperwork. He began because the vice chairman of finance however was quickly promoted to CFO.

Over the course of just about 4 years, Firle initiated greater than 30 unauthorized wire transfers, issued 30 unauthorized checks to himself and his household and made a number of unauthorized withdrawals, in line with federal prosecutors. The wire transfers had been made to accounts held by each Firle and his spouse, and a few checks had been made out to his father, mom and daughter.

He additionally issued himself bonus funds of just about $160,000, mentioned the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Jap District of California.

Firle’s most egregious theft occurred by way of firm bank cards, which he used for greater than $750,000 in private bills, in line with prosecutors. Purchases included tickets to sporting occasions and luxurious items from shops resembling Bergdorf Goodman, Chanel, Hermes, Nordstrom and Tiffany & Co., the press launch mentioned.

Court docket paperwork additionally present that he used firm bank cards to pay for stays at inns in Las Vegas, Honolulu, the Bahamas, Orlando and different standard trip locations.

Firle was caught as a part of an FBI investigation, the press launch mentioned.

Worth Simms Household Dealerships ranked No. 89 on Automotive Information’ most up-to-date checklist of the highest 150 dealership teams primarily based within the U.S., with retail gross sales of 10,305 new automobiles in 2020. The group had 16 areas as of early 2021, in line with the checklist.

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