CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — The former chief financial officer of a company near St. Louis who embezzled $2.8 million has been sentenced to more than 40 months in prison.
Ramon “Trey” Luina, 42, was sentenced in federal court Monday after pleading guilty to mail fraud in July. He has also been ordered to repay $2.2 million, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported .
Company records show Luina stole an average of $280,000 per year from CMS Communications Inc. for a decade beginning in 2006. The company was founded in 1985 and installs and maintains business telephone systems.
Luina was fired after the company founders, Glenn and Christy Cosman, discovered Luina improperly increased his own salary.
The Cosmans “thought we had a significant problem, but we did not realize how significant a problem until we spent the next three months of our lives going through everything,” Glenn Cosman said. “Including looking at the front and back of 44,000 checks.”
The Cosmans said Luina made checks falsely appear as if they were going to customers or wrote them to credit card companies or a fictitious company that he created, and faked wire transfers.
A total of 26 employees lost their jobs, including Luina’s father-in-law.
“The fact is, he simply didn’t care,” Glenn Cosman said.
U.S. District Judge John Ross said it was “unimaginable” Luina continued working at and stealing from his company while colleagues’ pay and jobs were cut.
“Knowing layoffs were imminent, Trey continued to steal more each month,” Christy Cosman said.
Luina apologized in court, saying his “actions are not who I am.”
Luina has already repaid $535,000, according to Joel Schwartz, Luina’s attorney.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com