by Lance Turner
Posted 2/20/2013 07:59 am
Updated 9 months ago
Andrew T. Melton, the former chief financial officer of ThermoEnergy Corp. of Worcester, Mass., pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 12 counts of wire fraud linked with allegations that he stole $109,575 from the company.
Melton, 66, of Roland, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray. He was not detained.
Melton was indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 6. If convicted, each count carries a statutory penalty of no more than 20 years incarceration and a $250,000 fine.
Melton is accused of using ThermoEnergy funds to pay on a $181,171 default judgment against him. Unpaid interest on the 1998 judgment boosted the total owed to $363,352.
The judgment by NationsBank was held by Union Rexam LLC of Rockville, Md., which attempted to garnish Melton's wages at ThermoEnergy.
According to the indictment (PDF), Melton instead "caused checks to be issued from ThermoEnergy to pay the judgment and expensed those payments on ThermoEnergy's financial records as if the payments were legitimate business expenses of ThermoEnergy."
Melton's alleged fraud scheme occurred between August 2006 and April 2009. The indictment details 12 checks mailed between Feb. 20, 2008 and April 27, 2009.
Melton was fired by ThermoEnergy in August 2009.
Melton is also among a handful of former One Bank & Trust employees under scrunity from federal authorities who are investigating how the bank handled TARP money.