(SHELBY COUNTY D.A. NEWS RELEASE) – A 35-year-old man has beenindicted on felony theft charges for allegedly embezzling more than $1 million infunds from the United Supreme Council (USC), a nonprofit Masonic fraternalorganization, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
According to an affidavit, Fredrick Amoz McWilliams wroteunauthorized checks to himself, used USC credit and debit cards withoutpermission, and made unauthorized electronic transfers of USC funds to hispersonal bank account.
McWilliams made unauthorized purchases of goods and services,including some $240,000 in tickets for Memphis Grizzlies basketball games.
He was hired in 2012 as a building manager and IT specialist atthe USC headquarters on Airways Blvd., but two years later gained unauthorizedaccess to the organization’s bank account.
Between November 2014 and April 2015, McWilliams, whose annualsalary was $32,000, began writing payroll checks to himself totaling $264,000,claiming independent contractor status. Numerous casino withdrawals also werelisted in a subsequent audit.
The total amount missing was more than $1.1 million. Auditors saidMcWilliams was able to delete many files from the server he managed andserviced, possibly from a remote location.
A Shelby County Grand Jury indicted him on felony theft over$250,000, a Class A felony that carries punishment of 15 to 60 years in prisonand a fine of up to $50,000. McWilliams is free on $100,000 bond.
The case is being handled by Asst. Dist. Atty. Dennis Johnson ofthe DA’s Public Corruption & Economic Crime Unitwhich is responsible for the prosecution ofpublic wrongdoing, fraud and theft from governmental agencies, non-profitorganizations and businesses; and money laundering cases. Prosecutors andinvestigators work with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies inthe investigation and prosecution of these offenses.