San Jose, California - Marc Marier was sentenced to 29 months in prison and ordered to pay over $1.49 million in restitution for wire fraud and money laundering, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and FBI Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Lucy Koh, U.S. District Judge.
Marier, 42, of Naperville, Illinois, pleaded guilty to the charges on June 10, 2020. Driscoll’s, a company headquartered in Watsonville, Calif., that sells berries, hired Marier as its Director of Real Estate and Workplace Services in October 2017. Driscoll’s paid Marier to relocate from Illinois to California to accept the position.
According to the plea agreement and the government’s sentencing memorandum, about a month into his employment, Marier sought to clarify the scope of his invoice approval authority. Marier was informed that he had the authority to approve invoices of up to $250,000 by virtue of his director-level status at Driscoll’s. 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. Marier used TNC solely to further his scheme to embezzle funds from Driscoll’s. In total, Marier submitted at least fifteen 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. Driscoll’s then referred the case to the FBI.
A grand jury indicted Marier on February 14, 2019, charging him with two counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and two counts of money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957. Marier pleaded guilty to one count of each charge.
In February 2019, the government seized the Naperville home, the GMC truck, and over $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, Judge Koh ordered Marier to serve a three-year period of supervised release and signed a preliminary order of forfeiture that included, among other things, a personal forfeiture money judgment in the sum of $1,489,216.25. The defendant will begin serving the prison term in January 2021.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marissa Harris, Karen Beausey, and Jeffrey Schenk are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Leung. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.