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Ex-Woodruff employee sentenced for embezzling from center
by Staff Reports
March 01, 2014 03:20 PM | 1107 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ralph Clark has been sentenced for embezzling more than $1.1 million from the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown while serving as its director of facilities, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Friday.

He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Julie E. Carnes to two years, six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay about $1 million in restitution. Clark was convicted of these charges April 23, upon his plea of guilty.

“When the defendant embezzled over $1 million from the Woodruff Arts Center, he not only stole from the arts center, but the entire community served by the center,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “His greed and betrayal has fairly landed him in prison.”

According to Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In June 2006, Clark was promoted to director of facilities. He had been acting in this capacity for several months before he was promoted. His duties included ensuring the center was properly maintained.

As director of facilities, he was authorized to approve vendor contracts up to $50,000. While carrying out these duties between November 2005 and October 2012, Clark embezzled more than $1.1 million from the center.

Clark, 42, of Ellenwood, embezzled the money by submitting invoices for bogus expenses to the center’s accounts payable department. The bogus invoices included invoices from his wife’s business — Lowe’s Services — which was an apartment cleaning business set up in 2003.

The bogus Lowe’s Services invoices were for goods and services that were never provided to the center, or were performed by Clark himself. After the accounts payable department received an invoice, it generated checks from Woodruff’s checking account. Clark would then pick the checks up in person, and deposit them into accounts on which he had signatory authority.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bernita B. Malloy prosecuted the case.
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