Maryland Man Sentenced to 21 Months in Federal Custody

Los Angeles – 3 May 2011 – Last week, in the United States District Court in Los Angeles, the former Plant Manager and Director of Operations at Rockwood Pigments NA, Inc. (Rockwood) in Los Angeles, California was sentenced to 21 months in prison for committing Mail Fraud and Money Laundering.

The Honorable United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee sentenced Thomas Edward
Bedsworth III, of Princess Anne, Maryland, to 21 months in prison and ordered him to pay $2,213,000 in restitution. Bedsworth was also ordered to three years of supervised release.

On December 22, 2010, Bedsworth entered his guilty plea to one count of mail fraud and one count of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity (Money Laundering).

According to his plea agreement, Bedsworth was the Plant Manager and Director of Operations at Rockwood’s Los Angeles plant from 1986 through July 2006. As Plant Manager and Director, Bedsworth had the authority to order and approve for payment invoices for goods and services purchased by Rockwood’s Los Angeles plant. Bedsworth created and registered two fictitious business names — JTM Enterprises (JTM) and Advanced Industrial Solutions (AIS) — to execute a scheme to defraud Rockwood. From 1990 through July 2006, Bedsworth submitted and approved phony invoices purportedly issued by JTM and AIS totaling approximately $2.4 million to employees in the Los Angeles plant. The employees in the Los Angeles plant processed the invoices and submitted them for payment to Rockwood’s corporate office in Beltsville, Maryland. The phony invoices were for either work performed by employees of Rockwood’s maintenance department or not performed at all.

According to the plea agreement, at Bedsworth’s request, Rockwood’s Accounting Department typically sent payments for the JTM and AIS invoices to the plant in Los Angeles instead of to JTM and AIS directly. Bedsworth received the payments from a Rockwood employee at the plant. In addition, some payments were mailed from Maryland to post office boxes in California that Bedsworth set up for JTM and AIS. Bedsworth also opened two bank accounts at Bank of America. Bedsworth deposited Rockwood’s checks into these two bank accounts. Bedsworth used the funds in the two Bank of America accounts to pay his credit card bills and other personal expenses.

The investigation of Bedsworth was jointly conducted by IRS – Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, California.

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