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Former ClosetMaid Fleet Manager Arrested on Fraud Charges

December 22, 2008

OCALA, FL A former fleet manager for ClosetMaid was arrested Dec. 19 for allegedly bilking the company out of more than a half-million dollars, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) report. Andrews had been terminated Oct. 1 for "performance issues," according to the report.

Mark Alan Andrews, 45, was arrested at about 1 p.m. Dec. 19 and taken to the Marion County Jail. He was charged with Organized Scheme to Defraud in excess of $50,000, a first-degree felony.

Investigators allege that Andrews stole approximately $575,000 from the ClosetMaid Corporation, where he had previously worked for eight years. The six-week investigation found that Andrews made cash withdrawals from company credit cards that were to be used exclusively for fuel purchases. The withdrawals occurred over the course of two years and were captured on bank ATM video.
 
Authorities did not know how he continued to remove cash with the company's credit cards after he was fired, but suspect he still had access to the cards until the facility was shut down later in October.

The credit cards provided to ClosetMaid truck drivers to make fuel purchases were issued by Andrews, who was then the fleet manager. Of the estimated 40 cards issued, eight were assigned to specific drivers. Reviewing the card histories, authorities discovered most of the drivers were out of state on driving runs when their assigned cards were being used in Florida.

Law enforcement officials said they found that Andrews was the only person who had access to all the cards, plus had control of eight duplicate cards. They also found that he was the person to whom monthly invoices would come for inspection and approval before being sent to the finance department for payment.

The FDLE report states that when the company changed credit card vendors, company officials realized suspicious ATM withdrawals were being made for the month of October. Examining October's statements from the first through the 22nd, they noticed that eight cards had sizeable amounts of money withdrawn.

A meeting between the company's top officials and sheriff's deputies detailed the amount of money taken from various ATM machines. Photographs of at least two transactions were shown to company officials and they identified the person as Andrews. He admitted to being in the photos, according to the report.

Mark Polzin, a ClosetMaid spokesman, issued a statement saying: "We've been aware of the situation and are working with the appropriate law enforcement agencies in their investigation."

Andrews was taken into custody by FDLE and the Marion County Sheriff's Office without incident and booked into the Marion County Jail. Bond was set at $250,000. The case is being prosecuted by the Florida Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution.  

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