Ex-MoFo office manager sentenced to 41 months in prison for fraud

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The offices of the law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 31, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • Andrew Robertson altered invoices to cover tracks, prosecutors said
  • Law firm said it discovered the theft, which involved personal purchases of clothing and jewelry

(Reuters) – A former office operations manager at Morrison & Foerster was sentenced on Monday in Washington, D.C., federal court to 41 months in prison for using a law firm credit card to make more than $425,000 in unauthorized purchases for personal clothing, jewelry and other items.

Andrew Robertson, who worked for California-headquartered Morrison & Foerster in the Washington metropolitan area, pleaded guilty in April to one count of mail fraud. He has been free pending sentencing before U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

Prosecutors alleged Robertson altered invoices to make it appear Morrison & Foerster had ordered the items, including trying to pass off a pair of Prada jeans as computer-related equipment. Robertson’s position at the firm involved making orders and certain renovation matters.

“Because of brazen and calculated way the defendant abused the trust of his employer and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars, and because this is at least the second time the defendant has committed an offense of this type, the court should impose a sentence that includes a significant period of incarceration,” assistant U.S. attorney Kathryn Rakoczy said in a sentencing memo on July 21 that recommended 41 months in prison.

A lawyer for Robertson, assistant federal defender David Bos, had argued for a sentence of five years of probation.

Bos told the court a non-custodial sentence would have served a “dual purpose of ensuring that the financial harm Mr. Robertson has caused is rectified, while ensuring that Mr. Robertson’s mental health issues and significant medical conditions are addressed.”

Morrison & Foerster said in a statement the firm “terminated Mr. Robertson and alerted law enforcement immediately after we discovered theft of firm property. Mr. Robertson’s actions did not impact any of the firm’s clients. We have been fully cooperating with law enforcement on this matter.”

Kollar-Kotelly said Robertson must serve three years of supervised release and pay $425,000 in forfeiture.

The case is United States v. Robertson, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Case No. 1:21-cr-00209.

For the government: Kathryn Rakoczy of the Department of Justice

For Robertson: Federal public defender David Bos

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