PILOT CHARGED AFTER DEFRAUDING COMPANY ACCOUNTS
Monday, December 06, 2010— The chief pilot for a national DVD and video game chain based in Illinois has been arrested after submitting nearly half a million dollars in forged aviation fuel receipts on his personal expense account, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Monday.
Ricky Hanson, 45, of the 250 block of Blackthorn Court in Round Lake, has been charged with one count of theft over $100,000 - $500,000. He was arrested at his home on Friday by the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Financial Crimes Unit.
Hanson worked as the company pilot for Family Video executive officers and their families. He flew Family Video executives across the country on a regular basis on the company’s Citation 5 jet, and had access to an aviation fuel credit card, but was also able to submit expense reports related to air travel.
The investigation into Hanson’s fraudulent charges began when a new company bookkeeper noticed excessive fuel receipts and discrepancies on Hanson’s expense reports. Concerns expressed by other employees led to an investigation by the Cook County Sheriff’s Financial Crimes Unit. They determined the ten-year employee had been submitting fraudulent invoices from 2007 until this year.
When investigators presented their evidence to Hanson, he admitted to the acts, saying he’d spent money on luxurious vacations and shopping trips. Hanson spent in excess of $400,000.
Hanson, who was immediately terminated from the company upon the discovery, appeared in bond court at 26th and California on Saturday. He was able to post the required 10 percent of his $100,000 bond and is now free.