Businessman stole $3 million to keep his company going, lawyer says
A Whitehall businessman stole nearly $3 million from 10 companies between 1997 and 2010 to keep his failing company afloat, his lawyer said Thursday in federal court.
Paul Kay, the lawyer for Ronald A. Moog, 78, said his client's business problems don't justify the thefts but he's different from white-collar criminals who embezzle money to support gambling habits or live lavish lifestyles.
“His business fell on hard times,” Kay said. “He made decisions that he regrets and that he owned up to today.”
Moog pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud. He was president and majority shareholder of Moog Trans Financial Services Inc., a company that collected and audited shipping invoices for companies and then handled their freight shipping bills.
Moog diverted customers' money from a trust account, leaving their bills unpaid, and then used deposits to cover overdue bills to hide the thefts, said Assistant U.S. Attorney James Kitchen. The scheme unraveled in 2010 when Moog was unable to cover the unpaid bills, he said.
U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer scheduled Moog's sentencing for April 4. He remains free on a $10,000 unsecured bond.
He declined to comment after the hearing.
Kay said Moog's company went out of business in 2010.
Kay and Kitchen agree that federal sentencing guidelines probably will recommend a sentence of 5 years, 3 months to 6 years, 6 months in prison. Kay said he thinks Moog's case is exceptional enough to argue for a sentence that doesn't include prison.
The companies Moog stole from include Mine Safety Appliances, which lost about $1.5 million, JENNMAR, which lost about $1 million, and Traco, which lost about $195,000.
Brian Bowling is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-325-4301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.