Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Former Accounting Manager for Historic Savannah Foundation Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Edmund A. Booth, Jr., United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced that James Walter Boston, 53, of Savannah, Georgia, appeared in United States District Court on June 19, 2009 and pled guilty to one count of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344.

Boston had been charged with bank fraud and access device fraud in an indictment returned by the federal grand jury in March 2009. That indictment arose out of an investigation into allegations that Boston embezzled money from the general operating account of the Historic Savannah Foundation, a local non-profit organization, while he was employed as its Accounting and Finance Manager. The indictment alleged that on over fifty separate occasions between May 2, 2008, and December 23, 2008, Boston fraudulently wrote checks and made wire transfers from the Historic Savannah Foundation’s general operating account to his own personal bank account. It was further alleged that over the course of his employment, Boston embezzled approximately $74,000.

Booth stated that the evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing showed that Boston obtained that money from the Historic Savannah Foundation by fraudulent means. In fact, Boston admitted that he had obtained the money by fraud.

Booth noted that Boston faces a maximum statutory penalty of thirty (30) years' imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, and five (5) years' supervised release. Boston remains on bond pending his sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

Booth commended Special Agent Josh Hayes of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his work on the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Tanner.



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