Five years after a former bookkeeper at Washington's Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson pleaded guilty to a 12-year embezzlement scheme, new court filings show she has yet to pay back the more than $300,000 she owes the firm.
Gerry Mathews, who worked for the firm from 1986 to 2005, pleaded guilty to embezzling upwards of $350,000. Starting in 1993, according to filings (PDF), Mathews paid off personal bills and wrote checks from partners’ accounts, and diverted checks meant for firm partners, among other schemes.
In June 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman ordered (PDF) Mathews to spend a year in jail and pay just over $312,000 in restitution to the firm.
In May of this year, Mathews filed a request (PDF) with the court asking to have her case transferred to Maryland federal court, since she lives in that state.
In an opinion (PDF) yesterday, Friedman denied the request. Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Kidwell had opposed (PDF) Mathews’ request, arguing that she had lived at the same address since 2006, so there was no reason to transfer it now. Mathews has repaid less than $4,000 of what she owes and, according to Friedman’s opinion, has failed to sign papers that would allow the firm to tap into her 401(k) plan as part of the restitution.
“It would appear that Defendant’s request to transfer her case is merely to delay or frustrate the United States’ efforts to collect on her restitution judgment,” Kidwell wrote in her response.
U.S. attorney’s office spokesman William Miller declined to comment on the case. Mathews’ attorney, Upper Marlboro, Md.-based solo practitioner Richard McGill, did not immediately return a request for comment.
A spokeswoman for Fried Frank also was not immediately available for comment. In a 2006 Legal Times article, a Fried Frank spokeswoman had said the firm was “disappointed and saddened that an employee has taken advantage of her position this way.”