Columbia, South Carolina (USDOJ.Today) United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr. announced today that William Tye Grisel, 40, former IT manager of South Carolina-based company Big Red Box, a national dumpster brokerage firm, was sentenced to more than four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to embezzling over $1 million from the company from 2014 to 2017.
“The Defendant’s lies and fabrications bilked his employer out of more than $1 million and caused substantial damage to this small company doing business here in South Carolina,” said U.S. Attorney McCoy. “As the Defendant’s prison sentence shows, this office takes these types of crimes seriously. We will always stand up to protect victims here in South Carolina, whether they are individuals or businesses.”
Evidence presented in court established that, as IT manager of Big Red Box, Grisel was responsible for hiring and overseeing the work of several search engine optimization (SEO) companies, which generate internet-search leads for the company. Not long after assuming this role, Grisel created his own fictitious SEO, which he then used to siphon money from the company. Through his criminal scheme, Grisel was able to embezzle $1,049,996.97 from Big Red Box. Because this money went to a fictitious company that provided no customer leads, Big Red Box suffered substantial additional losses in revenue. While Big Red Box was forced to lay off employees, Grisel spent much of the money he stole from the company on lavish trips, cars, and an airplane.
United States District Judge Joe Anderson sentenced Grisel to 51 months in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system. As part of his sentence, Grisel was ordered to pay back $1,050,000 in restitution to Big Red Box.
This case was the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Winston Holliday and Brook Andrews prosecuted the case.