A Centreville man is slated to appear in court Tuesday after being accused of embezzling more than $53,000 from his Reston employer. He is Cliff Thomas, 40, of 13473 Coneflower Court in the Faircrest community.
Financial-crimes Det. R. L. Athing, with the Fairfax County Police Department's Criminal Investigations Bureau, detailed the case against him in a July 27 affidavit for a search warrant to seek possible evidence in Thomas' home.
On June 18, Athing met with Grant Patience, security supervisor for CDW Inc. of 10790 Parkridge Blvd. in Reston. CDW is a business that sells computers, hardware and software, and it recently acquired a competitor, MicroWarehouse.
Wrote Athing: "Patience reported that the accounting department discovered [that] two U.S. Treasury checks which were sent to MicroWarehouse/CDW [in] Reston were deposited into an account at the Provident Bank not authorized or controlled by MicroWarehouse/CDW."
HE STATED that, on Dec. 8, 2003, a person claiming to be Wanda Guy opened an account at the Provident Bank branch at 6335 Multiplex Drive in Centreville. The business account was opened under the name of Micro Computers, and Wanda Guy — with a Washington, D.C., business address — was listed as the sole signatory.
"Provident security officials researched this account and discovered only four deposited items," wrote the detective. "In addition to the two U.S. Treasury checks made payable to MicroWarehouse in the amounts of $22,145 and $12,000, there were two Western Union money orders in the amounts of $120 and $500 — [and] both of the money orders were made payable to MicroWarehouse." Athing noted that the sum of the deposited items totaled $34,765.
According to the detective, investigation revealed that, on Dec. 12, 2003, the stolen $22,145 U.S. Treasury check and the $120 money order "were deposited into the Micro Computers account." He noted that this transaction took place at the Provident Bank branch on Multiplex Drive.
Then on Dec. 22, wrote Athing, the $12,000 U.S. Treasury check and the $500 money order were also deposited into the Micro Computers account. This transaction, he stated, took place at the Provident Bank branch at 6200-A Little River Turnpike in Alexandria.
"These deposited funds were depleted within days," he wrote. "Checks were written on Micro Computers' account to Cliff Thomas, Countrywide Luggage and Repair [and to two other people — one of whom, wrote Athing, is reportedly Thomas' mother].
Athing wrote that, on Jan. 24 of this year, Thomas opened a business account at the Provident Bank in Centreville in the name of Countrywide Luggage and Repair. He noted that Thomas was the sole signatory on this account.
THE DETECTIVE further noted that, twice on Dec. 17, 2003 and once on Dec. 24, three checks drawn on the Micro Computers account for $1,500, $9,500 and $7,800 were allegedly deposited into the Countrywide Luggage and Repair account.
"During the time that the U.S. Treasury checks were stolen from the offices of CDW Inc., Cliff Thomas was employed at CDW as an account representative," wrote Athing. "Thomas listed [his mother] with the company's Human Resources department as an emergency contact — and [she] was [reportedly] a payee on the Micro Computers account."
The detective then requested permission to search Thomas' home for possible receipts, invoices, bank statements, checkbooks, financial and business records, and any documents in the business names Micro Computers and Countrywide Luggage and Repair that might implicate him in the crime.
On July 28, police charged Thomas with two counts of embezzlement, and he was released from the Adult Detention Center, the same day, on $5,000 bond. He has a Sept. 21 court date. If convicted, he could be sentenced to as much as 10 years in prison total — five years for each count.