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Published on June 21, 2024
Florida Man Accused of Embezzling $5.7 Million from Massachusetts Investment FirmSource: Google Street View

A man from Florida is facing charges for purportedly embezzling a staggering $5.7 million from his employer, a company financially rooted in a Massachusetts investment firm. Paul Schnitzer, 51, from Clermont, Fla., stands accused of wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Schnitzer has previously found himself under the weight of a criminal complaint on May 21, 2024, before the indictment was formally presented. He has occupied the role of finance director for the unnamed portfolio company and is alleged to quickly have made more than 100 transactions from the company's coffers to his personal bank account. These transfers were mostly described as "equity distributions," a veil to conceal their true nature.

According to the charging documents, Schnitzer is also accused of submitting doctored financial statements that showed inflated cash balances to the firm that owns the portfolio company. This effort seemingly aimed to mask the deficit created by the unauthorized transfers.

The alleged embezzlement scheme ran from January 2022 to May 2024, during which time Schnitzer is accused of cleverly using a line of credit to replenish the company's operating account after depleting it. If convicted on the wire fraud charge, Schnitzer could face up to 20 years in prison, along with three years of supervised release and a hefty fine—$250,000 or double the amount swindled.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Boston Division, Jodi Cohen, announced the indictment, with Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Holcomb prosecuting the case. While the charges are severe, as a tenet of the criminal justice system, Schnitzer is presumed innocent unless – and until – proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.