BANGOR, Maine — The vice president of operations for a local construction company has been accused of embezzling more than $500,000 from a former employer in Florida, according to authorities there.
An arrest warrant was issued late last week for David Lakeman Jr., 40, of Holden on charges of scheming to defraud, grand theft and dealing in stolen property. All charges are first-degree felonies in Florida punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Lakeman, vice president of Vaughn Thibodeau & Sons of Bangor, was arrested April 2 by Holden police and taken to Penobscot County Jail.
He was released the next day after a court appearance in Maine, according to a jail spokeswoman, but it’s unclear whether he has been extradited to Florida. There was no record of Lakeman at the jail in Bartow, Fla., where the arrest warrant originated.
According to an affidavit obtained Monday from the Florida State Attorney’s Office, Lakeman was employed as a plant manager for Lane Construction from January 2004 to October 2007 and was responsible for the company’s operations in Polk County.
The state alleges that Lakeman used his position at Lane Construction, one of the top general contracting firms in the country, to facilitate a number of thefts for personal gain. He allegedly used fraudulent invoices and sold company property for cash.
“Lakeman did engage in a systematic course of conduct with the intent to defraud the company of money and property valued in excess of $500,000,” the affidavit stated.
Lakeman allegedly created at least 10 invoices for various sales that he did not report to the company. Instead, he pocketed the cash.
Many of the transactions involved milling, which is grinding down old roadways to prepare the surface for new asphalt surfacing. Sometimes milled material is recycled to create new asphalt. The affidavit claims that Lakeman arranged transactions to sell the milled material and even employed Lane Construction truck drivers and assistant managers to assist. It’s unclear whether other Lane Construction employees have been charged.
Finally, Lakeman is alleged to have stolen approximately $80,000 in company funds for repairs to his vehicle and to purchase goods such as televisions and furniture.
According to previously published reports, Lakeman’s father, David Lakeman Sr., and his wife, Lynn, purchased Vaughn Thibodeau & Sons in October 2007, the same month Lakeman Jr. ended his tenure at Lane Construction in Florida.
It’s not certain when Lakeman Jr. was hired as vice president at Vaughn Thibodeau.
“Of course this is a personal matter for David,” Lakeman Sr. said Monday by telephone. “We’ve been made aware of the situation, but we have limited information. He was a well-respected member of that community with an impeccable history behind him. We hope everyone respects his privacy at this time.”
Thibodeau & Sons is a well-known contractor in the area and has been involved in a number of different projects, including the Hollywood Slots facility and Cianbro’s Eastern Manufacturing facility in Brewer.