According to a Wednesday report by New Hampshire Union Leader, a Manchester, NH man is accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from a subsidiary of industrial distributor F.W. Webb — No. 22 on Industrial Distribution's 2015 Big 50 List.
The Union Leader reports that 60-year-old John Plaza is facing two felony charges of theft by deception for an alleged embezzled scheme at Riverside Self Storage in Nashua, NH, which is owned by Bedford, MA-based F.W. Webb.
The report cites court documents in which Plaza is accused of embezzling nearly $106,000 over a six-year period from Riverside Self Storage, his former employer until he was fired last fall for alleged internal violations.
According to court documents via the report, customers told authorities that Plaza advised some customers to pay for storage units with cash or leave 'payable to' on their checks blank. Plaza allegedly rented out storage units for cash and didn't document it in Riverside's bookkeeping.
Plaza is accused of keeping those cash payments and deducting late fees from customers who paid in cash. The Union Leader cites a police affidavit that says Plaza would then manually advance the date of those payments in Riverside's computers, making it look like the customer didn't owe a balance, and then write off the amount a customer owned and keep the money.
"After reviewing the numbers, it is clear that the amount of cash coming into F.W. Webb from the Riverside Self Storage dropped significantly while Plaza was in charge," Detective Joseph Rousseau of the Nashua Police Department told the Union Leader.
The Union Leader cites court records that say F.W. Webb store manager Justin Costello told police the company will seek to recoup all losses from the thefts and will investigate how Plaza was running operations at Riverside.
The report says Plaza declined to comment when question by authorities.
The Union Leader says Plaza was an F.W. Webb employee for 20 years, helping oversee Riverside Self storage since 2008.
This wasn't the first time Plaza stole from the company. The report cites court documents that say F.W. Webb previously disciplined Plaza about 15 years ago for stealing money from its Gilford, NH office.
The Union Leader says Plaza is free on $50,000 bail and has been ordered to have no contact with Riverside. His court hearing is scheduled for July 12.