LITTLE ROCK—A former accountant from Northeast Arkansas was sentenced today for bank fraud after stealing more than $9 million from his client in Trumann, Arkansas. Edward Cooper, 71, of Mammoth Springs, was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison by Chief U.S. District Judge D.P. Marshall, Jr.
Cooper worked as an accountant with the Osborn & Osborn accounting firm in Jonesboro and handled a number of financial affairs for Roach Manufacturing Corporation, a family business in Trumann. Beginning in approximately 1996, when he prepared dividend distribution checks and tax checks for Roach Manufacturing, he requested extra checks and then made them payable to himself.
Cooper deposited these checks into his own account without the permission or knowledge of Roach Manufacturing. In this way, he took approximately 138 unauthorized checks from 1996 through 2018, totaling over $9 million. In the fall of 2017, Roach Manufacturing hired a financial manager who detected the fraud, leading to the criminal case.
“This defendant took advantage of a family business that had placed their trust in him,” stated Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. “His years of deceit have finally caught up with him. This sentence demonstrates our office’s commitment to prosecuting those who cheat our citizens out of their hard-earned money.”
“Over the course of 20 years, Mr. Cooper embezzled over $9,000,000 from a local Arkansas company,” said FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge Diane Upchurch. “His sentencing today shows that the FBI and our partners will never stop seeking justice for victims of fraud. We encourage all Arkansas businesses to report suspicious activity to us immediately.”
Cooper pleaded guilty in January 2020 to an Information charging him with one count of bank fraud. In addition to 60 months in prison, Chief Judge Marshall sentenced Cooper to two years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment. Cooper was also ordered to pay $7,401,744.82 in restitution. The case was investigated by the FBI.
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