Employee Skims from Paint Contractor


A former bookkeeper for an industrial painting contractor has pleaded guilty to charges that he stole more than $200,000 from his employer while working there.

Robert Coppola Jr., 28, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty last month to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, according to a statement from the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. He faces five to 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller in January.

Prosecutors said that Coppola formerly worked for PCI International Inc., of Tonawanda, NY. Between Sept. 24, 2013, and July 17, 2015, Coppola allegedly forged checks and made unauthorized bank transfers to himself from the industrial painting contractor’s accounts.

In total, the district attorney’s office said Coppola stole $204,154.11.

Prosecutors said in their statement that Coppola pleaded guilty to the highest charge for which he could have been convicted if the case had gone to trial. They also said that Coppola was not offered a deal in exchange for his guilty plea.

The district attorney’s office did not respond to a message left Tuesday (Nov. 3) seeking comment.

Contractor Details

PCI has more than 60 years of combined experience in surface preparation and coating application to industrial and commercial facilities, according to its website. Its projects include bridges; storage tanks; technical facilities; complex pipes and steel; cranes; marine; and power, food processing, petro-chemical and water treatment plants.

According to its website, PCI serves customers in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Mike Varvakis, the company’s senior project manager, said Tuesday (Nov. 3) that the company was not commenting on the court case because Coppola has not been sentenced.


Tagged categories: Business management; Business matters; Coatings; Commercial contractors; Contractors; Criminal acts; Ethics; Industrial Contractors; Lawsuits; North America; Quality Control; Surface preparation

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.