Risk Management

Bookkeeper Sentenced to 4 Years for Embezzlement

Angela Buckborough Platt spent the $6.9 million she took from a construction company on a new home, vacations, and a life-size statue of Al Capone.
Stephen TaubJune 8, 2007

Angela Buckborough Platt, who pleaded guilty to embezzling $6.9 million from her employer, has been sentenced to four years in prison, according to the Associated Press.

Platt, who had earned $40,000 a year working for J&J Materials of Rehoboth, Mass., spent the money on a ranch in Vermont, a life-size statue of Al Capone, vacations, cars, and for Burt Bacharach to sing at her brother’s wedding. “I’m very ashamed for what I did,” Platt tearfully told U.S. District Judge William Young in federal court Thursday, according to the AP.

With the money she took from her former employer, Platt fed her fetish for celebrity memorabilia and cinematic props, according to the Department of Justice. Her purchases included a 20-foot tall, smoke-emitting dragon with hydraulically-powered wings, six $3,000 talking trees like those in the Wizard of Oz, and a 9-foot-tall grizzly bear. She also planned a lavish wedding for her brother that would have been held at her ranch and included a $15,000 fireworks show. When people had asked her how she could afford to buy these things, she said she was the CEO of seven corporations or that she and her husband had won the lottery, according to prosecutors.

Young ordered Platt to repay $4.48 million in restitution, plus interest, to her former employer, according to the report. Her former boss said he had to lay off 35 workers because of his losses, the wire service added.

Platt had pleaded guilty in February to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property. Platt began writing checks — for as much as $50,000 — to herself starting in 1999, according to prosecutors. Her scheme wasn’t discovered until 2006, when another bookkeeper was added to the J&J staff.

J&J Materials Corp. calls itself the largest landscaping and masonry supply in the Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts area.