Nonprofit embezzler pleads guilty

The former chief financial officer of a nonprofit trade association has pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco to four felony counts and admitted to embezzling more than $928,000.

Robert Bradley Strahan, 51, of San Francisco, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson on Monday. He will be sentenced on Feb. 9. Strahan worked for the nonprofit association, identified in court filings by the initials M.E., from December 2007 until April 28, 2014, first as a contractor and then as chief financial officer.

In a written plea agreement filed in court, StrahanĀ admitted:

“Over the course of my time working (at) M.E., I embezzled and stole in excess of $928,000 from M.E.”

Strahan said in the agreement that he cashed checks from the group’s bank account amounting to $551,511 for his own benefit; bought $257,638 worth of personal items with the organization’s credit cards; and overpaid an acquaintance whom he had hired by about $19,000.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in sending the group’s board of director fraudulent emails in 2012 and 2013; one count of mail fraud in receiving a package bought with an office credit card in 2014; and one count of tax evasion in understating his income for 2010.

The four counts each carry maximum potential sentences of five to 20 years in prison. Strahan agreed in the plea agreement to pay restitution of $928,000. Strahan was arrested on May 30 and has been in custody since then, according to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

His former employer is listed only as “M.E.” in the plea agreement, in a May 29 indictment and in a revised Aug. 7 indictment, which contained the counts to which he pleaded guilty.

Several documents publicly available online list a Rob Strahan or Rob B. Strahan as the chief financial officer of the Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region, a nonprofit group that collects and analyzes ship traffic data, between 2012 and 2014.

The documents include the Golden Gate Ports Handbooks of 2012, 2013 and 2014, which list Rob Strahan as the chief financial officer of the Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region.

A 2012 letter to the San Francisco Fire Department is signed by Rob B. Stahan, chief financial officer of the Marine Exchange. It announces final approval of a grant award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that was passed through the exchange.