PHILADELPHIA — A Pottstown man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for his involvement in a fraud scheme that victimized his employer.

The defendant, Matthew Chancler, 57, was a certified public accountant and the director of finance for United Chemical Technologies, a company located in Bristol, Bucks County.

In this role, Chancler oversaw the financial operations of the company: accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and auditing.

During an approximately two-year period, from August 2016 through July 2018, Chancler abused his position of trust on a regular and systematic basis by using company issued credit cards for over 1,800 personal purchases and over 400 cash withdrawals from ATMs, while disguising the true nature of these transactions in the company’s financial records in order to cover his tracks, authorities said.

Those personal purchases included clothing, electronics, food, travel, jewelry, sporting equipment, and other personal items and entertainment. He also manipulated the company’s payroll system to generate additional fraud proceeds, according to the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

In total, Chancler stole over $360,000 through his fraudulent use of the cards and manipulation of the payroll system, said U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain.

The defendant’s scheme put the company in financial jeopardy and caused its officers and employees substantial hardship, McSwain said.

“Chancler abused his position of authority and trust for nothing more than his own greed,” McSwain said. “Companies rely on professionals to maintain the finances of their organization and to act as good stewards — not to break the law to line their own pockets.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen.

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