Former exec at Indiana County company pleads guilty to embezzlement

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The former controller of a natural gas company in Indiana County pleaded guilty today to her role in a scheme to embezzle nearly $10 million from her company, Falcon Drilling.

Cheryl Diane Brooks, 43, of Clymer, pleaded to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud and tax fraud.

Ms. Brooks conspired with another person, identified previously as Larry Winckler of Indiana, to steal the funds between 2007 and 2012 by using forged checks, fake invoices and false statements to auditors.

She received about $557,000 from the scheme, but prosecutors estimated the total loss to the company at close to $10 million.

Ms. Brooks is scheduled to be sentenced May 31 by U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster.

Mr. Winckler was originally charged by state authorities in Indiana County, but the charges were dropped and the case turned over to federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh.

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Torsten Ove: tove@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1510.


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