FAIRBORN — Fairborn resident Charles Michael Stratton, 63, faces three and a half years in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering.
Stratton, a former facilities manager at a Honda plant in Marysville, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 42 months in prison for stealing almost $1 million from the automaker.
Stratton was also ordered to pay more than $750,000 in restitution to Honda of America, his former employer, and $10,000 to Scioto Industrial Services.
“Stratton devised not just one, but multiple methods for defrauding Honda of more than three-quarters of a million dollars,” David M. DeVillers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said in a release. “The defendant skimmed from overages, arranged for double billing, and approved false invoices. Now, he will spend time in federal prison.”
Stratton served as the facilities manager for Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. in Marysville from 2008 until March 2015, according to court documents. In his role, he oversaw various vendor contracts, including those for security, janitorial, and food services, as well as uniform and laundry services on Honda’s behalf.
One of these vendors, Acrux Investigation Agency of Lakeview, provided physical and personal security for Honda. Another vendor, Surmount, also in Lakeview, is a subsidiary of Acrux and provided monitoring services to the automaker.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Stratton executed a scheme to defraud Honda using Acrux and Surmount by creating multiple purchase orders for payments in amounts just under $100,000, a threshold in which additional oversight and approval is required.
Using these purchase orders, as well as the main labor contract, Stratton caused Acrux and Surmount to submit false invoices to Honda and instructed them to keep the money in a “future fund,” the release said. Money allocated to the future fund was then used, in part, to pay Stratton directly or through his organization, Springfield Area Fastball Elites, Inc. (SAFE).
Stratton created SAFE, a Springfield non-profit, to support local baseball teams. However, SAFE lost its classification as a 501(c)(3) in 2010.
Stratton was indicted by a grand jury in May 2018 and pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in October 2019.
DeVillers and Chris Hoffman, special agent in charge at the Cincinnati FBI, announced the sentence imposed on Nov. 6 by Senior U.S. District Court Judge James L. Graham.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica W. Knight and Peter K. Glenn-Applegate represented the United States in this case.
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