By Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A former controller at Indiana County-based Falcon Drilling Co. pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to participating in a scheme to defraud the company of nearly $10 million.
Cheryl Diane Brooks, 43, of Clymer in Indiana County, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, as well as charges of mail fraud and tax fraud, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said in a news release.
Brooks pleaded guilty to seven counts in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.
Between 2007 and 2012, Brooks conspired with another person to embezzle funds from the company, causing the loss of nearly $10 million, according to Hickton.
Brooks and another person embezzled the money by using forged checks, fake invoices to fictitious or real vendors, and false statements to auditors.
Brooks obtained about $557,000 from the scheme, Hickton told Chief U.S. Judge Gary Lancaster.
Brooks conspired with the former chief operating officer of Falcon Drilling Co. LLC of Rayne Township, according to the information filed in court last month. At that time, the company's loss was pegged at $6 million.
State police in February 2012 charged former Chief Operating Officer Larry D. Winckler, 52, of White in Indiana County with 58 counts of theft and receiving stolen property but withdrew the charges when federal prosecutors took over the case.
Winckler has not been indicted on federal charges.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 31.
Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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 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.