Ex-Egg Company Accountant Admits to $6.8M Embezzlement Scheme

Crates of eggs at farmers market.

Source: CPA Practice Advisor

Jonathan Weston pleaded guilty on Aug. 23 to fraud conspiracy, money-laundering conspiracy and tax fraud.

By Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (TNS)

The owner of Katie’s Kandy in Pittsburgh admitted last week in federal court that he stole nearly $7 million from Greensburg, PA-based Hillandale Farms, a national egg distributor.

Jonathan Weston, 58, of Canonsburg, PA, pleaded guilty on Aug. 23 to fraud conspiracy, money-laundering conspiracy and tax fraud and became a federal felon.

Weston, a former accountant at Hillandale Farms, engaged in the scheme with his late secretary and bookkeeper—known in court records only as VP—to steal $6.8 million from the company and then launder it through various businesses they controlled to buy fancy cars, real estate, dinners, trips, clothing and the like.

Weston had been indicted in 2021. VP died in 2019.

Prosecutors said Weston, either by himself or through his company, Cougar Holdings, bought five high-end cars, including an Aston Martin convertible, and a condo in Gateway Towers. He also used the stolen money to operate several car washes and Katie’s Kandy stores he owned.

VP used the money to buy a 1933 Ford Model 40 coupe, a three-wheeler, a pontoon boat and a wave runner. She also racked up thousands of dollars in credit card expenses and made trips across the U.S.

Weston also lied on his tax returns. Between 2013 and 2018, he either didn’t file a return or filed false returns in which he didn’t account for the stolen income. In regard to Count 5 of the indictment, false income tax returns, he admitted that he underreported $566,000 in stolen income.

During those years, the criminal division of the IRS determined that he owed nearly $1.2 million in taxes, which included stolen Hillandale money.

U.S. District Judge W. Scott Hardy set sentencing for January.