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Tigard restaurant exec sentenced in $1 million embezzlement case

Richard Anderson to spent 15 months in prison, re-pay owner of 'Typhoon!'

Richard Lee AndersonA Tigard restaurant executive has been sentenced to more than a year in prison after he embezzled more than $1 million from two local businesses, including a now-closed Thai restaurant chain.

Richard Lee Anderson was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Monday, and ordered to pay $125,000 in restitution to the restaurant’s former owner.

Anderson was the company’s chief operating officer at Typhoon!, a popular Thai food chain based on Southwest Durham Road, in Tigard which closed its doors in 2012.

According to The Times' news partner KOIN, Anderson pleaded “no contest” to two charges of aggravated first degree theft and one charge of first degree theft.

Anderson left Typhoon! in 2011, but not before prosecutors said he embezzled money from employee tax withholdings the restaurant chain owed the state, stealing thousands of dollars nearly every month from February 2009 to January 2011.

Investigators say Anderson kept the payroll money for himself, would have Typhoon cater parties for friends or family and hire limousines for trips to the airport.

When the restaurant closed its doors in 2012, the company owed $2.25 million in unpaid payroll taxes.

But prosecutors said he didn't stop after leaving Typhoon!

Anderson landed a job at food distributor Sysco Corp., where prosecutors said he embezzled $20,000 between May 2012 to October 2012.

Prosecutors said that in both cases, Anderson cashed checks payable to himself.

Anderson also charged companies with large invoices for items that they didn't order, prosecutors claimed. He then sold those items on the side.

According to KOIN, Anderson took a plea deal in exchange that prosecutors would not seek criminal charges against Anderson’s ex-wife and daughter, who were also involved with Typhoon!

His wife was not an employee, but had the power to sign checks, prosecutors said. His daughter was the company’s human resource’s manager.

At Monday’s sentencing Anderson was ordered to re-pay $125,000 to Bo Kline.

“There are no words that can undo (what he did) and no justice that can return to us what we lost,” Kline wrote in a statement read during Monday’s sentencing. “(Anderson) wove a convoluted web of deceit and greed so twisted that I cannot fathom how he ever managed to keep the truth straight in his own head.”

Typhoon was started by Steve and Bo Kline with a single Northwest Portland restaurant in 1995, eventually operating restaurants in Portland, Beaverton, Gresham, Bend and Redmond, Wash., as well as a catering business in its Tigard headquarters.

Anderson’s embezzlement was one of several problems the restaurant chain faced, including a Bureau of Labor and Industries investigation into alleged abuses to its Thai workers; a multi-million-dollar lawsuit claiming the company was involved in human trafficking, and co-founder Steve Kline’s death from a heart attack in 2011.