Par accuses ex-employee of embezzling

Sr, credit and collection analyst cited in suit

Paramount Pictures Corp. has filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against a former employee for allegedly embezzling at least $1.3 million.

According to a complaint filed Monday in L.A Superior Court, Claudette Shackelford, an employee in the studio’s syndication accounting division of its television finance department, allegedly directed payments to fictitious companies and forged signatures. She allegedly embezzled at least $1.3 million, though the exact amount is still being determined.

Shackelford, a “senior credit and collection analyst” for Paramount, allegedly embezzled the funds over a 6-1/2-year period by substituting the names of fictitious businesses for legitimate vendors on check requisition forms.

Checks were then issued to companies owned by Shackelford’s husband, Lester, and son Jeffery, according to the lawsuit. This allegedly occurred at least 55 times since July, 1991.

A police investigation into the embezzlement is also ongoing, but criminal charges have not yet been filed.

The complaint seeks restitution, an accounting and unspecified punitive damages.