The former controller of Falcon Drilling has been charged in federal court with conspiracy to embezzle more than $6 million from the company in a scheme carried out with Falcon’s former chief operating officer, and the charging documents also indicate that there was a third conspirator.
In addition to conspiracy, former controller Cheryl Brooks is also charged with three counts each of mail fraud and filing a false tax return. Rather than use a grand jury indictment, the charges were filed using “prosecution by information”, a process that usually occurs when the defendant has agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
Brooks brought the case to light in February when she and her attorney went to Indiana County District Attorney Pat Dougherty with information that she and Falcon C.O.O. Larry Winckler had embezzled millions from the company. Winckler was charged with 58 counts of theft and receiving stolen property but the charges were withdrawn when Dougherty handed the case over to federal authorities. Winckler has not yet been charged at the federal level.
The third conspirator indicated in the charging documents against Brooks is identified only by the initials “D.P.” The filing says Brooks and Winckler wrote checks to themselves over the last eight years and used fake invoices from companies owned by D.P. to cover their tracks.