Former ?Tampa Trib? Credit Manager Pleads Guilty to Bilking $1 Million

By: E&P Staff

Charles T. Wilson, a former credit manager for the Tampa Tribune, has pleaded guilty to conning the newspaper out of more than $1 million.

Wilson, 59, pleaded guilty Tuesday to mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The former Tribune employee admitted conspiring with his wife, Lynda, to create a company called CCL Services, which billed the newspaper for services it never received. As credit manager for the Trib, Wilson approved the payments to his own company.

Wilson, who joined the paper in 1992, was fired from the Tribune in May 2008 after he finally got caught. He had been getting away with the scam for a decade.

He and his wife, Lynda, also pleaded guilty to providing false statements on a mortgage application, defrauding the lender of more than $400,000, according to the Trib, which also reported that the couple misrepresented their income as part of her salary at her job at the Morgan & Morgan law firm. In doing so, they were able to secure a $417,000 loan to build a house in 2006, according to the plea agreement.

Wilson is forfeiting some $1.47 million in assets, including the home they had built from illegally securing the loan, as part of his plea.

The charges carry decades of potential prison time for the couple.

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