Charges Announced Against Former CEO, Bookkeeper Who Allegedly Embezzled $2.6 Million
On Friday, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced felony charges against two men who allegedly embezzled $2.6 million over an 11-year period.
The charges allege 67-year-old Jerry Stage of New Hudson and 55-year-old George Bauer of Commerce Township embezzled the funds from the Compensation Advisory Organization of Michigan (CAOM). Stage was CEO and allegedly worked with Bauer who was the organizations bookkeeper to cover up his tracks.
In a news release, Schuette said “stealing is wrong – no matter if you’re at the top of the company or near the bottom. There are consequences to breaking the law and we will continue to aggressively weed out corruption.”
Stage was employed as CEO of CAOM from 1993 until his retirement in July 2012. It’s alleged that he wrote checks to himself totaling $1 million over a 14 year period. It’s also alleged that he submitted false or inflated expense reports for events including family vacations, tuition, wedding expenses, pet care and family dinners totaling $1.4 million. The other $200,000 came from Stage inflating his own pay raises and bonuses. Bauer was allegedly paid by Stage to help him cut checks to himself and keep his silence.
Stage faces one count of embezzlement over $100,000 and one count of conspiracy to embezzle over $100,000. Both counts include up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to three times the amount embezzled. Bauer is charged with one count of conspiracy to embezzle over $100,000 but less than $500,000, a 15 year felony.
Both defendants waived their rights to a preliminary investigation and were bonded over to Wayne County Circuit Court. Their arraignment hearings are scheduled for May 23rd.