Former CEO Going To Prison

The former chief executive of a nonprofit in Connecticut is facing a long prison sentence after admitting to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization.

Michael Meakem, 59, of Norwich, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty in federal court in New Haven, Conn., to one count of wire fraud stemming from an embezzlement scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Meakem was the president and chief executive officer of the Center for Financial Training (CFT), a Farmington, Conn.-based nonprofit that provided continuing education to employees in the financial services industry. Between approximately 2013 and 2020, Meakem embezzled at least $683,202 from CFT’s credit card accounts and bank accounts and used the funds on personal expenses, including alimony payments, meals, cruises, other vacations, and gambling at Connecticut’s casinos.

Wire fraud carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Meakem is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea on August 3. Meakem was ordered released by Magistrate Judge Sarah A.L. Merriam on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing. According to data on the website of the Center For Financial Training Atlantic And Central States, Inc., Meakem was earning $194,816 while in the organization’s top spot.