Sentencing postponed in embezzlement case
September 05, 2013 11:00 AM
by SAM KUSIC

For reasons that are being kept secret, sentencing has been postponed for a woman who in January pleaded guilty to helping embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars from Falcon Drilling in Indiana.

Cheryl D. Brooks, the company’s former controller, was to have been sentenced Friday on federal charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and filing false income tax returns. However, her sentencing was pushed back to an unspecified date at the request of the U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh.

The reason for the postponement isn’t being disclosed — the judge in the case allowed prosecutors to file the motion seeking the delay under seal. Prosecutors told the judge that the motion was replete with sensitive information.

Brooks originally was up for sentencing in May, but the date was pushed back to August on grounds that her cooperation with the ongoing investigation into the case hadn’t yet concluded.

According to prosecutors, Brooks helped Larry Winckler, Falcon’s former chief operating officer, embezzle money from the company, in part by writing checks on bogus invoices and by writing company checks directly to Winckler.

Federal authorities haven’t charged Winckler.

Sentencing also has been delayed for another person involved in the case.

Daniel Pikel, of Home, pleaded guilty in June to a count of conspiracy.

Prosecutors said Pikel, who owns businesses in the Home area, aided in the conspiracy to steal from the company by depositing money received on bogus invoices from his business in his bank accounts.

Pikel was to have been sentenced last month, but the date has been pushed back to October because of a clerical error.

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