Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Former Chief Legal Officer Charged reports:

A Mason attorney who served as the chief legal officer for Fujitec America, Inc. is now facing legal troubles of his own.

A Warren County grand jury Friday indicted Darren Courtney, 48, for allegedly stealing more than $180,000 from his employer.

Prosecutors say that Courtney took the cash from the Mason-based company between 2010 and February of this year.  He then altered company records to conceal the crime, according to the indictment.

Courtney, who now runs his own law firm, served as chief legal and administrative officer for Fujitec America, according to a company profile on Fujitec’s website. He had been with the company for 13 years.

The company manufactures and supplies elevators, escalators and moving walkway systems.

As part of his job duties, Courtney was responsible for resolving claims, or lawsuits, against Fujitec, said Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.

Courtney allegedly “created” claims from around the country and would then have Fujitec issue checks to law firms purportedly representing the claimants in efforts to settle those claims.

Neither the claims nor the law firms actually existed, said Fornshell.

Instead, Courtney is accused of opening up accounts with local banks in the names of the phony law firms and cashing more than $150,000 in settlement checks he instructed Fujitec to issue.

He is also charged with creating fraudulent expenses of more than $30,000 and charging those to the company.

Courtney has been charged with two counts of theft, telecommunications fraud and tampering with records, all felonies of the third degree. He faces up to 36 months in prison on each of the four charges.

(Mike Frisch)

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