SCHENECTADY – A former employee at General Electric in Schenectady admitted theft charges this week on accusations he stole $47,000 from the company by improperly using a company credit card, the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office said.
Wesley Patterson, 43, most recently of Laurel, Miss., pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree grand larceny, a felony, officials said.
Patterson had been employed at General Electric and had access to two company credit cards to be used for company expenses for travel while on the job, officials said.
He then took a leave of absence from his job in July 2018, but he continued using the corporate cards, but for personal expenses. In one instance, he used a corporate card to purchase a vehicle at auction, officials said.
In all, he used the cards for $47,000 in personal purchases between July and December 2018, officials said.
The state police began investigating the matter after GE representatives filed a criminal complaint, following their unsuccessful attempts to recover the money from Patterson, officials said.
Patterson was arrested June 18 at his home in Mississippi and then transported back to Schenectady County. He was arraigned then and remanded to jail at his request, officials said.
He has since paid the money back to General Electric and is to receive a sentence of one month in jail and be fined $5,000, officials said. He was released this week and is to be formally sentenced in September. Patterson was represented by Stephen Signore.
“Prosecution of white-collar crime remains a priority for us,” Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said in a statement. “Through this prosecution, ably led by ADA William Lemon, we were able to make GE whole, and communicate the message that embezzlement can usually be proven and will be prosecuted.”