Ex-controller of restaurant group embezzles more than $600,000

An accounts payable audit discovered that the former controller for Clyde's Restaurant Group stole more than $600,000 from her employer over a span of 10 years.

Nancy Preston, who worked for the Washington D.C. company from 1982 to 2011, is accused of embezzling approximately $647,547 and using the funds to pay for unauthorized personal expenses. Preston has pled guilty to the charges of mail fraud against her. She faces up to 20 years in prison, and she has agreed to a money judgment forfeiture of $389,069 as well as the signing over of more than $258,000 in equity-based incentive stock awards and options.

Preston was promoted to corporate controller of Clyde's Restaurant Group in 1992, and began the illegal activity in 2001, according to the AP audit. She managed to embezzle the money by diverting funds from bank accounts belonging to the company to pay for her credit card bills. She also used Clyde's credit cards to purchase unauthorized items for her personal use, as well as using a vendor to gain access to goods.

Preston attempted to cover up her theft by asking one vendor to change records and invoices to reflect that the money had been spent on business-related items. Additionally, she fraudulently listed her credit card expenses as costs going toward corporate officers' training purposes.

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