Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fraud Talk Episode To Focus On Resume Fraud and the Top Ten Resume Lies

Join me Monday, December 1st at 10 a.m. EST for our next Fraud Talk episode which will be all about Resume Fraud and the Top Ten Resume Lies.  My special guest will be Wendy Pickering Sullivan, my old colleague at Kroll Associates and an expert in due diligence investigations, background checks and fact finding. We will also feature some case studies and stories, including some from our Resume Liar's Club.  Listen live or at your leisure to the audio file here: 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kansas Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling More Than $500K From Trucking Concern

From the Great Bend Tribune on 11/25/2014:

A La Crosse woman pleaded guilty Monday to embezzling more than $500,000 from the company where she worked, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Crystal Lynn Jones, 34, La Crosse, pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen money. In her plea, she admitted the crime occurred from 2008 to 2013 while she was officer manager for Teel’s Trucks at 1200 Vine Street in Hays. She wrote unauthorized checks from Teel’s company accounts at Commerce Bank and the Bank of Hays for her personal benefit. She also conducted transfers on the Automated Clearing House electronic network from Teel’s accounts for her own personal benefit. She hid the thefts by altering entries on the company’s accounting software and by forging checks.

Sentencing is set for March 2, 2015. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Grissom commended the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Rich Hathaway for their work on the case.

Former Delaware Bank CEO Sentenced In $1.5 Million Fraud Case

From the News Journal on 11/25/2014:

A former bank chief executive was sentenced Monday to two years in prison for a scheme involving the use of his bank's money to pay personal debts.

James A. Ladio, 58, who founded and headed MidCoast Community Bank in Wilmington, received what some considered a stiff sentence, considering his substantial cooperation into the federal investigation of Wilmington Trust Co.

Ladio pleaded guilty last year to two counts of bank fraud and two counts of money laundering. He had asked U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews for home detention or community confinement. Instead, Ladio will report to prison on Jan. 9.

"This is a tough day for me," said Ladio, who seemed more self-assured than he did at his plea hearing last year. "I will never, ever be able to accept the actions I did. Remorse is something that eats you from inside."

Ladio said he had gotten himself into "desperate financial circumstances" following years of mounting debt that began with a divorce. In a letter to the judge, Ladio said the debt was always manageable until he invested beyond his means in the start-up of MidCoast. When the recession hit, he was forced to borrow more money to meet his loan obligations, he said.

Unable to pay the loans he owed Wilmington Trust, Ladio convinced two MidCoast customers to withdraw loan proceeds from the bank and turn the money over to him as private loans, prosecutors say. He then used the private loan money to pay off his obligations at Wilmington Trust.

The "agonizing" reflection Ladio did over the last year resulted in the decision to make amends, he told Andrews. That meant cooperating with the government in its Wilmington Trust probe and starting a business that would allow him to repay his debts.

"During this time, I decided to move forward – I willed myself," Ladio said.


Read the whole story here.

Former Credit Union Manager In Kansas Ordered To Pay Restitution In $173K Embezzlement Case

From the Lawrence Journal on 11/25/2014:

Former Jayhawk Federal Credit Union manager Karolyn J. Stattelman, 43, of Topeka, was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation and ordered to pay more than $173,600 in restitution after pleading guilty in June to one count of theft from a credit union....

Mississippi Man Indicted On Charges He Embezzled $100+K From Juvenile Detention Center

From WJTV Ch. 12 on 11/25/2014:

A Natchez resident is facing embezzlement charges following indictment by an Adams County Grand Jury.

42-year-old Charles Nations was arrested Monday on one county of embezzlement, according to Attorney General Jim Hood.

 The indictment alleges that Nations, while serving as the Director of the Adams County Juvenile Justice center, embezzled more than  $100,000 from bank accounts that belonged to the Adams County Juvenile Detention Center.

Nations will be arraigned Wednesday morning in Adams County.

If convicted, Nations faces up to 20 years behind bars and a $5,000 fine.

Wisconsin Woman Shot By Police In Domestic Dispute Suspected Of Embezzling More Than $100K

From the Leader-Telegram on 11/24/2014:

The woman shot to death by a Boyceville police officer on a domestic disturbance call earlier this month was under investigation for allegedly embezzling more than $100,000 from her employer.

Shonda E. Mikelson, 33, 469 Main St., died after police say she displayed a rifle and a replica handgun to an officer.

“Sadly, we’ll never know what she was thinking or what transpired,” Menomonie police Chief Eric Atkinson said of the shooting.

At the time of her death, Menomonie police were investigating allegations that Mikelson racked up bills on company credit cards at her former employer, DKS Construction, 2520 Wilson St., in Menomonie, where she was an office manager. She also was accused of cashing a check made out to company owner Dale Schmitz and paid herself overtime she did not work, according to police records.
“We were at the point of the investigation we felt ready to go to the district attorney’s office and seek charges,” Atkinson said.
Atkinson said there was another person of interest in the investigation, but there was insufficient evidence to charge that person.
The investigation records were made public after Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf determined there was insufficient evidence to sustain charges after Mikelson’s death.
Police records indicated the charges Schmitz reported as fraudulent included multiple purchases from online retailer Amazon, restaurants, and other personal purchases totaling $117,063. One charge was for a pickup truck bed cover and bed rails for the type of pickup owned by her boyfriend, Timothy Fern, according to police reports.


Read the whole story here.

Montana Woman & Family Plead Guilty To Embezzling $132,500 From Municipality

From NBC Montana on 11/25/2014:

A 59-year-old Brockton woman, her husband and two daughters have pleaded guilty to their roles in embezzling more than $132,500 from the town of Brockton on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
Desiree Lambert pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Great Falls to fraud, embezzlement and aggravated identity theft. Her 66-year-old husband Bernard Lambert and adult daughters Kaycee and Kayla pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Desiree's embezzlement.
Desiree Lambert was the business manager for the Town of Brockton. Prosecutors say in December 2012 Desiree Lambert began writing municipal checks payable to herself and family members and forged the mayor's signature on the checks. The money was used for gambling and to supplement the family's lifestyle.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris scheduled sentencing for March 5.

Former Connecticut Municipal Councilman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling More Than $100K

From WTNH Ch. 8 on 11/24/2014:

A former West Haven City Councilman admitted Monday to stealing more than $100,000 in an embezzlement scheme.

Stephen DeCrescenzo, 37, of West Haven, waived his right to an indictment and plead guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of wire fraud stemming from an embezzlement scheme.

According to court documents, DeCrescenzo was working as a personal banker at JP Morgan Chase in New Canaan. Between September of 2008 and November of 2011, DeCrescenzo embezzled $106,028 in funds from customer accounts by transferring the funds into a separate account to which he had access.

As part of the deception, DeCrescenzo disguised numerous withdrawals from the accounts as authorized cash withdrawals by customers when, in fact, he had stolen the money, officials said. DeCrescenzo also wired funds stolen from a customer account into another bank account of his own.

DeCrescenzo faces up to 20 years in prison. He is free on $50,000 bond. He is due back in court for sentencing on February 17, 2015.

DeCrescenzo, who was a member of the West Haven City Council, resigned from the Council on Monday.

$584K Embezzlement Alleged At Popular Restaurant In Chicago

From Crain's Chicago Business on 11/24/2014:

A principal investor at the popular Purple Pig restaurant just off North Michigan Avenue has filed suit against the business's other partners: Jimmy Bannos Sr., Jimmy Bannos Jr., Gary Veselsky and Tony Mantuano, along with the restaurant's general manager, Laura Payne, for violations including embezzlement, breach of fiduciary duty and unlawfully destroying records.

The suit, filed last week in Cook County Circuit Court by chef and restaurateur Scott Harris, alleges that Bannos Sr. and his son, Bannos Jr., who is Purple Pig's executive chef, engaged in “intentional mismanagement and wrongful conduct” by making improper payments to themselves and other partners totaling more than $584,000 between Jan. 1, 2010, and Nov. 20.

The suit alleges that the Bannoses used those improper distributions to pay for home repairs, auto-related expenses, an engagement party for Bannos Sr.'s daughter, health insurance and “abusive spending” at the James Beard Awards banquet in New York. Harris also alleges the Bannoses used the Purple Pig credit card for personal and family vacations, nonbusiness dinners, personal meals, computers, home-improvement projects and auto-related purchases.

Further, the suit claims, Bannos Sr. directed improper payments to himself, Bannos Jr. and Payne that were “concealed and/or mischaracterized as salaries or bonuses,” and improper distributions to himself, Bannos Jr., Mantuano and Veselsky that were miscategorized as personal loans. Harris also alleges that Purple Pig's other partners improperly transferred without his consent 0.66 percent of his membership stake to Bannos Jr. in November 2013, decreasing his ownership share to 38.34 percent.

Read the whole story here.

New Jersey Woman Sentenced For Embezzling $260K From Bank

From Newsday on 11/24/2014:

A former bank manager who embezzled more than $260,000 has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Season Wengert, of Franklinville, will also have to serve three years of supervised release once she's freed. She had pleaded guilty in August to a bank embezzlement charge.

Prosecutors say the thefts occurred between September 2007 and January 2013, when the 32-year-old Wengert was branch manager of a southern New Jersey bank. But they haven't said what the money was used for.
Prosecutors say Wengert stole $263,864 by fraudulently conducting online computer transfers of money from 38 accounts belonging to 23 customers into accounts owned by her or her husband. She also withdrew money from customers' accounts and deposited it into her accounts.

The 32-year-old Wengert also must pay $261,654 in restitution.

Former Prison Bail Supervisor In Pennsylvania Accused Of Embezzling $150K; Blames Struggling Personal Business Ventures

From CBS Philly on 11/24/2014:

The attorney for a former Philadelphia court supervisor says his client will plead not guilty after being charged by a grand jury with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bail money.

Steven Martorano, 42, allegedly stole more than $150,000 during 2010 and 2011, while he supervised the bail acceptance unit at the Curran-Fromhold Prison, on State Road.

A grand jury charged that Martorano took advantage of lax supervision by the now-defunct Clerk of Quarter Sessions to steal the money because struggling business ventures has put him in a “precarious financial state.”

But defense attorney Michael DeFino says Martorano will plead not guilty.

“He asserts his innocence,” DeFino said today.  “It’s a highly circumstantial case where a number of people could have taken these funds.”

Charges against Martorano include theft and tampering with public records.  He is currently free on bail.

Texas Woman Sentenced For Embezzling $1.1 Million From Bank

From KFYO 790AM on 11/22/2014:

A Big Spring bank manager has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for a bank fraud conviction.

Former branch manager at BBVA Compass Bank in Big Spring, Texas, Lisa Lynette Barber, 49, of Amarillo pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud in July of 2014.

According to court documents, Barber used her managerial status to steal from customers’ accounts by withdrawing money from various long-time customers with whom she had a relationship. If any of them complained, she simply refunded the stolen amount. Barber reportedly withdrew money using her employee’s information instead of her own and took large sums of cashier’s checks payable to different financial institutions.

Baber’s actions caused BBVA Big Spring to lose more than $1.1 million.

At her Tuesday, November 18, sentencing, U.S. District Judge of the Northern District of Texas Sam R. Cummings ordered the 41-month sentence and more than $1 million in restitution fees. Barber must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on December 19, 2014.

Barber worked for BBVA from 2008-12 after BBVA acquired State National Bank in 2008. Barber had been with State National Bank since 1997.

Kansas Woman Sentenced For Embezzling $2.5 Million

From KOAM TV7 on 11/21/2014:

A former employee of a southeast Kansas bank was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for stealing more than $2.5 million from her employer.

The U.S. Attorney announced 54-year-old Cynthia Bright, of Girard, was sentenced Thursday to five years and 10 months in prison. She pleaded guilty in June to one count of bank fraud.

Bright admitted she took the money over 10 years while she was operations supervisor at Girard National Bank.

Prosecutors say Bright used several methods to steal the money. She wrote checks on her own accounts but altered records so the money wasn't taken from her account. She also altered records to post checks to other accounts and diverted funds from the bank's accounts to her own.

Major Embezzlement Alleged At Oklahoma Utility - Former Manager Suspected

From NewsOK on 11/22/2014:

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking into embezzlement allegations at Choctaw Electric Cooperative just weeks after its board of directors fired the general manager.


After initially standing by him, the Choctaw co-op board on Oct. 28 fired former CEO and General Manager Terry Matlock. He had been with the co-op since 2002.

“The board’s action occurred after an ongoing investigation revealed inconsistencies in administering policies and mismanagement relative to the purchase and personal use of equipment owned by the cooperative,” the board said in a statement.

A telephone message left for Matlock was not returned Friday. Matlock is a regent for the Regional University System of Oklahoma and served 12 years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.


Other members said they were concerned about a $1.4 million retirement annuity purchased with co-op funds on Matlock’s behalf in 2012. The co-op’s federal tax return that year showed Matlock receiving a base salary of $194,000 and a bonus of $16,500.

After it fired Matlock in October, the board said it recovered the annuity, which is now owned by the co-op and worth $1.6 million.


Read the whole story here.

Former Bank Teller In California Arrested For Allegedly Embezzling $240K From Elderly Bank Client Accounts

From CalNews, Inc. on 11/23/2014:

Two elderly people in Orange County had their bank accounts tapped by a dishonest bank teller, who has been arrested for embezzlement and money laundering by the Secret Service, police said Sunday.

About $200,000 was siphoned away from the trusting victim by Jake Chih Wie Cheng, 23, police in Huntington Beach said. After he was transferred to San Clemente, another elderly victim was hit for $40,000.

Cheng was immediately fired by Wells Fargo when the embezzlements were discovered, and will be facing enhanced federal charges because the victims were elderly, according to the Huntington Beach police, who helped bring the arrest.

The former teller was arrested Friday at his home in Tustin, and was awaiting charges Sunday at the federal jail in Santa Ana. He had worked at the Wells Fargo branch at 7902 Edinger Ave. in Huntington Beach, police said.

That’s where Cheng reportedly befriended a man and convinced him to give money to him. After a few months, the teller began forging temporary checks drawn on the man’s account, police said.


Read the whole story here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Free Access Now For All Marquet White Collar Fraud Reports VIA New Web Portal

We have set up a new web page portal to allow free access to all of the Marquet International white collar fraud white papers here.  These Marquet Fraud Reports include all of the Marquet Reports on Embezzlment from 2008 to the present as well as the Marquet Report on Ponzi Schemes.  Please visit the portal and complete the simple registration to allow for complete access to all of the Marquet Fraud Reports.

The portal is accessed here: