A Zachary man admitted Wednesday that he stole more than $400,000 from his former Baker employer, then pleaded guilty in Baton Rouge federal court to one count of mail fraud.
Richard G. Boyette, 48, known as Glenn Boyette, cannot be sentenced under federal guidelines to more than 20 years in prison. U.S. District Judge James J. Brady did not immediately schedule a sentencing date for Boyette.
“He (Boyette) was my comptroller here,” Mike Bueche, president of Commercial Tire of Louisiana Inc. in Baker, said about two hours after Boyette pleaded guilty. “Over a period of about 10 years, he took a lot of money.”
The $400,000 Boyette admitted stealing “doesn’t begin to describe this,” Bueche added. Bueche estimated the actual loss at “somewhere between $1.2 million and $1.4 million.”
While the amount of loss remains in dispute, the court record shows Commercial Tire suffered the loss, and Boyette tricked other employees into paying income taxes on money he stole.
Added Bueche: “The company is very solvent. It will make it through this rough period.”
Commercial Tire also has offices in Scott, which is near Lafayette, and in Hammond.
Boyette, whose plea agreement was signed with defense attorney Karl J. Koch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan A. Stevens, also admitted that his actions harmed other Commercial Tire employees from at least January 2002 through November 2010.
It was during that time, Boyette said in a signed admission, that he wrote fraudulent payroll checks to himself and created false entries in company records to show the stolen money was paid to other Commercial Tire employees.
For example, court records show, Boyette admitted to Stevens and FBI agents that in October 2008 and November 2008 he wrote two company checks totaling $798 to himself and deposited them in his bank account. Boyette admitted that he then made entries in the company’s accounting records to show the money was paid to an unknowing Commercial Tire employee at the firm’s Scott office.
In January 2009, Boyette admitted Wednesday, he mailed 2008 tax records to Scott showing that the other employee received the $798 as part of the person’s wages that year.
“My good employees were hurt by this,” Bueche said. “I trusted the man (Boyette). He was a church-going man. And he took a lot of money.”
Boyette only admitted taking more than $400,000 from the tire company. But Stevens, the prosecutor, retained the right to present, at sentencing, evidence and arguments that the actual loss “was more than $1 million.”
Total loss is a factor that is considered by federal judges when they establish a floor and ceiling for a convicted felon’s sentence under federal guidelines.
Convicted felons can be ordered to forfeit property valued as much as the total loss they caused.
In return for Boyette’s guilty plea to one count of mail fraud, prosecutors agreed to dismiss three additional mail fraud charges.