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July 23, 09

NEWS / Former Director of Marketing for Nestle Purina Petcare Indicted on Fraud Charges


ST. LOUIS, MO—Thomas M. Faulkner was indicted on fraud charges involving his fraudulent use of his company credit card, Acting United States Attorney Michael W. Reap announced today.

According to the indictment, from 2005 to June 17, 2009, Faulkner was a director of marketing for Nestle Purina Petcare and its subsidiary, Check Mark Communications. Some of his duties included developing and implementing marketing plans and strategies for other Nestle Purina divisions in the selling of products as well as media venues for advertising of Nestle Purina product. Faulkner had the authority to expense certain costs to Nestle Purina to implement the plans and strategies on a company American Express credit card. Some of the expenses legitimately incurred by Faulkner through his job included entertainment, meals and travel, and promotional items including Sirius radios, ipods and gift cards. However, as alleged in the indictment, when Faulkner obtained the invoices or receipts for these legitimate expense items, he would use the document as a template to create false and unauthorized bills and invoices and submit them to Nestle Purina as legitimate expense items. These expenses would be on the books of Nestle Purina and paid to Faulkner for reimbursement for fraudulent bills. Included in the fraudulent expense bills were Faulkner’s use of the American Express card for personal use including trips to Disney World in Orlando, Florida and college football games. The total amount of these fraudulent invoices paid to Faulkner is approximately $250,000.

“No corporate executive, no matter how high on the ladder, is above the law,” said John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in St. Louis. “The FBI will aggressively investigate and hold accountable anyone who participates in corporate fraud, whether it involves swindling millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Faulkner, 40, of O’Fallon, IL, was indicted by a federal grand jury July 1, on one felony count of mail fraud. The indictment remained suppressed until the arrest of the defendant earlier today.

If convicted, mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.

Reap commended the work on the case by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the assistance provided to the FBI by Nestle Purina.

The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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