A 20-year former employee of Barber & Ross Co., a Leesburg-based company that manufactures home windows, doors and trim, admitted in federal court last week that he has siphoned more than $700,000 from the company since December 2000.
Maximilian Lauw, 47, of Sterling pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to one count of money laundering. According to court records, he used some of the cash to buy an $88,000 Porsche Cabriolet and a $45,000 BMW for his personal use.
Lauw is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 27, and he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. He worked for Barber & Ross for more than 20 years in several positions, including a supervisor's job in which he oversaw about 800 production workers and 40 to 50 office staff members, court documents say.
Barber & Ross, which is near Harrison Street SE and Catoctin Circle in Leesburg, plans to leave that location in September and move to a site north of Winchester. The company is Leesburg's largest private-sector employer.
According to court documents, Lauw orchestrated a scheme in which he sold products produced for Barber & Ross's exclusive use to two other companies and diverted much of the proceeds to his personal bank accounts.
The products Lauw sold were made by PT Profilindah, a wood manufacturing company that Barber & Ross runs in Indonesia, the documents say. Lauw admitted that on 14 occasions between December 2000 and December 2001, he sold Profilindah's products to the Maryland branch of Builders FirstSource, a construction company, or to Houston Stained Glass/Glasscraft.
"In exchange for the wood products, [Builders FirstSource] and Houston Stained Glass/Glasscraft paid [Lauw] a total of $717,000 . . . which defendant converted to his personal use," the documents say.
A Fredericksburg, Va., broker handled the payments from Builders FirstSource, according to court documents, deducting a commission and then wiring the proceeds to Lauw's personal bank account in an Indonesian branch of Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd.
Lauw arranged to have some of the profits from the sales to Houston Stained Glass/Glasscraft wired to another bank account in Indonesia and placed in an account used by two unnamed "accomplices," the documents say. The accomplices then wired the money to a Lauw account in Indonesia, and Lauw transferred "a substantial portion of the illegal proceeds" to his personal account at First Virginia Bank in Falls Church.
The documents say that Lauw "withdrew large sums of cash, between $8,000.00 and $10,000.00, on multiple occasions from his First Virginia Bank account and used much of the illegal proceeds to pay for personal expenses," including the BMW and the Porsche.
Barber & Ross lost $782,894, including taxes and penalties, as a result of the scheme, according to court documents.