A Tennessee judge sentenced the former farm manager of Masterson Farms in Somerville to 33 months in prison.
Zachary M. Baker, 32, pleaded guilty to wire fraud stemming from the theft of more than $810,000 from his former employer Kenneth Masterson. Baker managed his western pleasure breeding and training farm for Quarter Horses.
Investigators state in January 2013, Baker began stealing from Masterson Farms by writing checks payable to himself; Zigadoo Moneyclips, a band he managed; and another individual identified as “E.L.M.” According to court documents, Baker also stole funds by making online payments to his personal credit cards with funds transferred from the Masterson Farms bank accounts.
From January 2013 to April 2018, prosecutors allege Baker stole more than $810,000.
U.S. District Court Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. ordered Baker to serve two-years supervised release after prison. Additionally, he is responsible for more than $838,000 in restitution. The beneficiaries include Masterson Farms and two other entities.
“Financial fraud can happen anywhere and can be devastating to local businesses,” U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant cautions. “The defendant used his position of trust and authority to steal proceeds for his own personal benefit…”
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