Atwood Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Embezzlement

by Mark Friedman  on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2006 12:00 am  

John Atwood, the former USA Drug vice president, pleaded guilty Monday and was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for embezzling money from the company's employee benefit trust's bank account.
Atwood will have to pay $550,000 in restitution plus a $10,000 fine, said Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Dalrymple. Atwood will pay $350,000 down and the rest when he's released from the Arkansas Department of Correction, which could be after he's served a fourth of his sentence.
From July 2001 through February 2004, Atwood took the money, court records show.
In 2004, Atwood resigned from USA Drug to become chief financial officer of Centennial Bank. Atwood then abruptly left the bank and said it was for personal reasons unrelated to the bank and its operations.
On Monday, Atwood pleaded guilty to 38 counts of theft of property, for which he was sentenced to 10 years plus one day (the one day makes him ineligible for boot camp), Dalrymple said. He also pleaded guilty to 38 counts of second-degree forgery and 38 counts of laundering criminal proceeds and received 10 years for each of those crimes.
Atwood entered a plea of no contest to 88 counts of the misdemeanor falsifying business records, receiving a one-year sentence in the county jail, and 70 counts of computer fraud, for which he received six years in prison.
All the sentences will run at the same time. Atwood will report to prison on Nov. 23.
Atwood's former assistant at USA Drug, Lee Reddmann, also has been charged in Jefferson County. In February he was charged with computer fraud, which is punishable by up to six years in prison, and a misdemeanor, falsifying business records. His trial still is pending.



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