SAN JOSE—A former executive at an international Watsonville berry giant was sentenced Thursday to more than two years in federal prison for embezzlement, United States Attorney David Anderson announced.

Marc Marier, 42, was sentenced to 29 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $1.49 million in restitution for wire fraud and money laundering, Anderson said.

Marier, of Naperville, Illinois, pleaded guilty to the charges on June 10.  

According to Anderson, Driscoll’s hired Marier as its Director of Real Estate and Workplace Services in October 2017. The company paid Marier to relocate from Illinois to California to accept the position.

About a month into his employment, Anderson said, Marier learned that he had the authority to approve invoices of up to $250,000. Within weeks, Marier started abusing that authority by submitting and approving false invoices from a fake business called TNC US Inc., and routing the payments to a shell J.P. Morgan Chase bank account that he created and maintained for TNC.  

TNC had no bona fide assets, no employees and no business.

In total, Marier submitted at least 15 false invoices to Driscoll’s between November 2017 and May 2018 and received approximately $1.49 million in payment for services that TNC never rendered.

Marier used the embezzled funds to make personal expenditures, including for a five-bedroom home in Naperville, Illinois; a GMC Yukon XL; and a $75,000 cashier’s check for his girlfriend.

Marier resigned the day after he became aware of Driscoll’s internal investigation into the fraudulent invoices that he had submitted and approved, and the company then referred the case to the FBI, Anderson said.

A grand jury indicted Marier on Feb. 14, 2019, charging him with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.  Marier pleaded guilty to one count of each charge.

That same month, the government seized the Naperville home, the GMC truck and more than $700,000 in cash from bank accounts associated with Marier and TNC.

Marier agreed to forfeit all of these assets and to pay full restitution for all losses suffered by Driscoll’s. 

In addition to the prison term, Marier will serve a three-year period of supervised release and will forfeit $1,489,216.25.

Marier will begin serving the prison term in January 2021.

Driscoll’s did not respond to a request for comment.

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