By Miles Moore, Crain staff (R&PN)
Bridgeport, Connecticut - Kevin Coleman, former CEO of Latex International L.L.C. in Shelton, Conn., pleaded guilty in Bridgeport federal district court to embezzling approximately $1.7 million from the company and evading federal income taxes for four years.
Coleman, 51, pleaded guilty Feb. 27 to one count of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion.
Coleman was CEO of Latex International from November 2005 until he resigned in December 2010, according to the US District Attorney's Office for the State of Connecticut. Between October 2008 and November 2010, Coleman and Joanne Osmolik, Latex International's vice president for human resources, conspired to embezzle more than $3.4 million in corporate funds to pay personal expenses, the district attorney's office said.
Among other illegal actions, Coleman and Osmolik charged hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal expenditures on corporate credit cards, according to the legal action. Among the items Coleman charged to Latex International were diamond jewelry from a jeweler in Minnesota, personal travel for himself and his family, and motorcycles and paraphernalia from Harley-Davidson USA, it said.
In addition to embezzlement, Coleman failed to file federal income tax returns between 2007 and 2010, according to the district attorney's office. Not counting the money he stole, Coleman earned a total of $1,585,128 in those four years, resulting in a tax loss to the government of $741,029, the district attorney's office said.
Judge Stefan R. Underhill set a May 4 sentencing date for Coleman. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and $3.5 million in fines, the district attorney's office said. He also must make full restitution to Latex International and pay the Internal Revenue Service $1.38 million in back taxes, penalties and interest, it said.
Osmolik, 51, pleaded guilty Dec. 20 in Bridgeport federal court to one count of wire fraud. According to the district attorney's office, Osmolik filed $531,655 in fraudulent expense reports with the company, as well as charging more than $1 million in personal expenses to a corporate credit card.
March 9 is Osmolik's scheduled sentencing date. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $3.5 million. She also agreed to forfeit three residential properties in Vermont, an all-terrain vehicle, four snowmobiles, vehicle trailers, jewelry, appliances and other home furnishing items, the district attorney's office said.
According to its website, Shelton, Conn.-based Latex International is the largest Talalay latex mattress and pillow producer in the world. It was founded in 1975 in Ansonia, Conn., as Latex Foam Products. The firm has three US production facilities, as well as a plant in the United Kingdom and a latex production facility in Malaysia, the website said.
Coleman's attorney and current officials of Latex International could not be reached for comment on Coleman's guilty plea.
From Rubber & Plastics News (A Crain publication)