Monday, May 30, 2016

Former Finance Director at U Miami Pleads Guilty in $2.3 Million Embezzlement Scheme

From the Associated Press on 5/29/2016:

A former finance director at a University of Miami science school faces prison time after pleading guilty to tax evasion in a $2.3 million embezzlement scheme.

Sentencing is set for August in Miami federal court for 58-year-old Kimberly Jean Miller, who faces up to five years behind bars on each of four tax evasion counts.

Miller was finance director at the university's Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Science from 2002 to 2012. Court documents show she used her authority to embezzle $2.3 million by falsifying vendor invoices so that checks could be deposited in a business bank account she controlled.

Prosecutors say Miller did not report the money on income tax returns between 2008 and 2011 and now owes the Internal Revenue Service more than $329,000 in back taxes.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/news/state/florida/article80654232.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Former Hospital Employee Accused Of Embezzling Nearly $100K From Seattle Children's

From KING5 on 5/25/2016:

A former employee at Seattle Children's is facing theft charges, accused of embezzling nearly $100,000 from the hospital.  Prosecutors say the money was used to build a Hindu temple.
As first reported in the Seattle PI, Bram Deo has admitted to the embezzlement and resigned in August of 2015 when confronted by his employer.

Court documents say he spent more than a decade working in the accounting department at Seattle Children's.  It was in 2011 and 2012 when he allegedly stole $96,250 from the hospital.

As for what he was doing with the money, investigators say Deo also served as treasurer for a Hindu temple on Des Moines Memorial Drive in Seattle.

According to court documents, he reportedly used the money to pay for construction at the temple, and told the contractor doing the work it was an authorized donation from Seattle Children's.
Deo was charged just last week, with five counts of theft in the first degree.

A spokesperson for Seattle Children's told KING 5 that the hospital discovered the theft during an internal investigation in 2015.  The hospital then reported the theft to the Seattle Police Department.
...

Read the whole story here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Former Fire District Administrator In Arizona Indicted For Allegedly Embezzling Nearly $1.8 Million

From the Associated Press on 5/11/2016:

Authorities say a woman who oversaw finances for the former Show Low Fire District embezzled nearly $1.8 million over several years.

A Navajo County grand jury recently indicted Natalie Cluff on multiple felony charges. She’s scheduled for an arraignment Monday.

Her father, former Show Low Fire District Chief Ben Owens Sr., also is accused of financial crimes.
The charges came after the state auditor general’s office looked into the district’s finances. The report released Tuesday found that Cluff unlawfully issued hundreds of checks between February 2005 and June 2012 and submitted fake audits.
...

Read the whole story here: http://www.abqjournal.com/772405/former-az-fire-district-administrator-faces-felony-charges.html

Monday, April 18, 2016

Risk & Opportunities - 10 Year Reflections

Read Chris Marquet's reflections on the risks and opportunities facing businesses as we have seen them develop over the past decade.

Read the letter on our website here: http://www.marquetinternational.com/pdf/Marquet-Intl---10-Year-Reflections.pdf

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Marquet International Celebrates 10 Years

Marquet International, Ltd. celebrates 10 years of excellence in investigations, due diligence & litigation support services.  Thank you to all of our clients, colleagues and friends.  We appreciate your continued support and look forward to the next decade of service. 
Sincerely,
Christopher T. Marquet, CEO

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Office Manager of Georgia Medical Concern Indicted on Charges She Embezzled $1.2 million

From The Telegraph of Macon on 1/13/2015:

The former office manager of a Warner Robins surgical practice was indicted Wednesday on charges that she embezzled more than $1.2 million from her former employer.

Maria Elizabeth Trenam is accused of embezzling the money from Surgical Associates of Warner Robins from March 31, 2011 to Aug. 11, 2015, according to the federal indictment.

As the officer manager, Trenam had access to banking and financial records of the business, could write checks on business accounts and had access to signature stamps of the doctors, according to the indictment. She also had a business credit card and handled the payroll for employees.

"The doctors trusted (Trenam) to the extent that there was little oversight of her activities as the officer manager," the indictment said.
Trenam is accused of using her position to make unauthorized cash withdrawals at ATMs using the business credit card assigned to her, of writing unauthorized checks to herself on business accounts using the signature stamps of the doctors and of increasing her salary without authorization.

Trenam also is accused of using the business credit card to make unauthorized purchases and for travel and entertainment.

The alleged unauthorized purchases with the business credit card ranged from the Apple online store and hotel rentals, including from one in Las Vegas, to purchases at a Kroger in Warner Robins. A $600 cash withdrawal with the business card also was among the alleged transactions outlined in the indictment.

In addition, a forfeiture notice was filed in federal court for any property owned by Trenam that may have been obtained with embezzled money.
She initially was arrested on a charge of fiduciary theft in connection with the embezzlement following an extensive investigation by the Houston County Sheriff's Office. The FBI also became involved because some of the transactions occurred across state lines, said Houston County sheriff's Capt. Jon Holland. The case was later turned over to the U.S. District Attorney's Office.

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/news/local/community/houston-peach/article54543565.html#storylink=cpy

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2016 Off To A Bang: Massive $20 Million Embezzlement Revealed At Credit Union In Michigan

Only Discovered When Alleged Perp Walks Into Police Station To Confess

From the Detroit News on 1/8/2016:

A Livingston County man known for generous acts of charity is expected to face charges for allegedly embezzling $20 million from an Oakland County credit union.

An official of Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union is jailed after walking into the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and admitting he had looted funds from the facility since 2003, authorities said Thursday.

The man’s story stunned investigators, who said it wasn’t known that any money was missing.

“A man walked into the sheriff’s office Wednesday morning on his own saying he wanted to give himself up because he was responsible for millions of dollars in embezzlement over a 12-year period from the credit union where he worked,” Undersheriff Michael McCabe confirmed Thursday. “We weren’t even aware of this until he came forward.”

The suspect — who is married and has young children — was arrested Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

Investigators from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office executed search warrants at several locations and on accounts linked to the man.

Investigators froze bank accounts of the suspect, who was not named pending formal charges.
A safe, computers and business records were removed from a Livingston County home and were still being examined Thursday as investigators attempt to track down missing funds.

It was not known what prompted the man to turn himself in, and investigators are still trying to determine if anyone else was involved. The scheme involved bogus transactions and investments to mask the taking of funds for the suspect’s own purposes, according to a preliminary investigation.
The scheme all began to unravel during a recent audit at the credit union on Ortonville Road. It remains unclear why the missing funds were overlooked.

The credit union, in operation since 1957, has more than 9,300 members, 15 employees and lists resources of more than $60 million.

A credit union official stressed the personal accounts of members are all safe and whole.

“We are currently conducting an investigation into an possible embezzlement of funds from the credit union by a former employee,” said Donna Bullard, president and CEO of the credit union. “While this investigation is proceeding, we want to assure our members that it is business as usual at the credit union.”

Bullard reminded credit union members that all accounts are insured by the National Credit Union Administration, a federal share insurance agency, for up to $250,000.

“At this time we are unable to comment any further while the investigation is ongoing,” she said. “Members will be updated in the future when more information is available.”

Investigators believe the embezzled funds went to support a lifestyle that exceeded the man’s $65,000 annual salary, including a $1.3 million, 5,800-square foot home. The suspect also started and heavily promoted a private business, one of several he told others he planned to build over the next decade.

The man, who has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, was known locally for his generosity to charity efforts for the needy. He recently was honored by a local chamber of commerce for his community service efforts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

North Carolina Man Sentenced To 10 Years For Massive $17 Million Embezzlement Conspiracy Scheme

From the Gaston Gazette on 12/15/15:
An Iron Station man will spend a decade in prison for laundering money to pay for strippers, jewelry, a Mercedes-Benz and a lavish home.
James William Staz, 44, was sentenced in federal court Tuesday.
Staz and his father, William “Bill” Staz were arrested on federal charges more than a year ago, and both later pleaded guilty.
The elder Staz died at the age of 72 in his Huntersville home in May while awaiting sentencing, and his charges were officially dismissed in court Tuesday.
Both men had already admitted in court to using their payroll company to take more than $17 million from clients over the course of seven years.
          ...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Happy Holidays from FraudTalk & Marquet International

Happy Holidays & Best Wishes for the New Year from FraudTalk and Marquet International, Ltd.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Another Major Embezzlement inVermont: Non-profit Reports Possible Loss of "Hundreds of Thousands"

From VtDigger on 12/8/15:

A bookkeeper for a major Vermont nonprofit is under investigation for embezzlement, according to the organization’s top executive.

Hunger Free Vermont executive director Marissa Parisi said Tuesday that the organization believes that the employee may have been embezzling funds for years. The full extent is not yet clear, but she said that the total amount could be significant.

“We actually think the loss could be in the hundreds of thousands,” Parisi said.  ...



The Burlington Free Press also covered the story:

The leader of Hunger Free Vermont says an employee embezzled thousands of dollars from the organization's reserve fund, deceiving fellow employees and auditors for about a decade.

Executive Director Marissa Parisi said in a statement Tuesday that she was "devastated" by the discovery.

Parisi declined to name the employee or discuss criminal charges until an FBI review is complete. The employee had "bookkeeping responsibilities" and had held the position for 11 years, she said.
The employee has been fired, but no criminal charges have been filed.  ....


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Meet Chris Marquet on September 18th at the ACFE Chicago Event Presenting the Keynote Address on the "Marquet Report on Embezzlement"

Chris Marquet will be delivering the keynote speech at the ACFE's Chicago Chapter meeting on September 18th.  The event will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago at 230 South Lasalle Street in Chicago, commencing at 11:30, including a luncheon.  It is worth 2 CPE credit hours for CFEs.  For more information and registration, go to their web site: http://www.acfechicago.org/Chicago_Chapter_Current_Events or email them at acfechicago@gmail.com.  It should be a fun event for those of you in the greater Chicago area.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Iowa Woman Sentenced For Embezzling $169K From Low Income Housing Management Firm

From the Omaha World-Herald on 3/24/2015:

An Iowa woman who embezzled $100,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development is heading to federal prison.

Melissa Edwards, 41, of Sioux City was sentenced Monday to one year in federal prison for making false statements to HUD. A federal judge also ordered Edwards to pay $179,118 in restitution.


Edwards managed a South Sioux City apartment building that offered Section 8 housing subsidized by HUD. Over a two-year period Edwards embezzled $169,924 from the management company, including more than $100,000 of HUD funds.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

2 Former Army Personnel Sentenced For Embezzling $2.7 Million While Stationed in Saudi Arabia

From the DOJ on 3/20/2015:

NEWNAN, Ga. - Jasen Minter and Louis E. Nock have each been sentenced to four years, nine months in prison for stealing more than $2.7 million from a United States Government bank account while they were on active duty in the United States Army stationed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“This was an egregious abuse of trust by two former U.S. Army soldiers who had access to millions of dollars of government money,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn.  “Their conduct betrayed their trust and honor as servicemembers and took substantial funds away from the United States Military Training Mission in Saudi Arabia.”

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “While the sentencing of both former U.S. Army Captain Jasen Minter and Sgt. First Class Louis Nock will finally hold them accountable for their criminal actions in stealing over two million dollars in government monies, it remains to be seen if they will be able to repay the government in spite of the fact that, as part of their sentencing, they are ordered by the court to do so.  While both Minter and Nock were stationed in Saudi Arabia, their purpose as Finance Officers was to support the war fighter through the U.S.
Military Training Mission.  They, instead, literally sent boxes of U.S. cash back to the States for their own personal gain. This has been an extensive and protracted investigation initiated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division and the Department of Defense- Office of Inspector General. The FBI will continue to work with its military components in ensuring that U.S. funds designated for military use are used as intended and not diverted to personal bank accounts as was seen in this case.”

“Instead of serving their country honorably while stationed overseas in a sensitive assignment, these two U.S. Army finance officers betrayed it by abusing their positions of trust and embezzling more than $2.7 million in American taxpayer funds,” said John F. Khin, Special Agent in Charge, Southeast Field Office, Defense Criminal Investigative Service.  “This sentencing should serve as a constant reminder that DCIS and our law enforcement partners will relentlessly pursue corruption, fraud, and abuse within Department of Defense programs anywhere in the world, and bring violators to justice.”

“This sentencing is another great example of the work our special agents do on a daily basis,” said Frank Robey, the director of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command's Major Procurement Fraud Unit. “The defendants attempted to profit by compromising the readiness of our servicemembers during a time of war, but this joint investigation unraveled their scheme and now they are being held responsible for betraying the trust placed in them.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Minter and Nock served as the Finance Officer and Deputy Finance Officer, respectively, for the United States Military Training Mission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 2006 to 2007. As part of their duties in the Finance Office, Minter and Nock had access to a U.S. government bank account that was held at the Saudi American Bank.

In June 2006, the defendants withdrew approximately $1.2 million in cash from the bank account and kept those funds for their own benefit. In August 2006, they made another withdrawal of more than $1.5 million in cash, and again kept the funds for their own use instead of returning them to the Finance Office. Before leaving Saudi Arabia, both defendants falsely affirmed in Finance Office records that there were no missing funds from the bank account. An audit conducted by the Department of Defense later revealed the theft of funds. 

Jasen Minter, 44, of Fayetteville, Georgia, has been sentenced to four years, nine months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,216,617.97.  Minter was convicted on these charges on November 21, 2014, after he pleaded guilty.

Louis E. Nock, 48, of Orlando, Florida, has been sentenced to four years, nine months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,216,617.97 to the United States Army. Nock was convicted of these charges on January 5, 2015, after he pleaded guilty.

Georgia Woman Accused Of Embezzling $2.5 Million From Hair Products Company

From WDEF 12 on 3/20/2015:

Prosecutors say a former employee of a metro Atlanta hair products company has been arraigned on nine counts of fraud related to theft.

Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn says Veria Fields of Atlanta appeared in court Thursday. Prosecutors say she stole more than $2.5 million from Bronner Bros. in Marietta from 2006 to 2010. She was indicted on March 4.

Prosecutors say 54-year-old Fields offered unauthorized discounts to customers in exchange for cash payments made directly to her. They say she used her position as an account manager to conceal the discounts and theft.

Former Little League Treasurer In New Jersey Pleads Guilty To Embezzling More Than $100K

From NBC10 on 3/21/2015:

The former treasurer of a New Jersey youth sports league has admitted embezzling more than $100,000.
 
Hunterdon County prosecutors say 43-year-old Kevin Lockrey, of Flemington, recently pleaded guilty to theft by deception. He faces a 364-day county jail term when he's sentenced June 26, and he also will have to make full restitution to the Flemington-Raritan Baseball League.
 
Lockrey was charged last year after discrepancies were found during an audit of the organization's finances.
 
Prosecutors did not say why Lockrey took the money or how he used it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Virginia Woman Charged With Embezzling $469K From Local Architectural Firm

From The Virginian-Pilot on 3/21/2015:

A former employee of a prominent Virginia Beach architecture firm was arrested Thursday in connection with an embezzlement scheme that cost the company nearly a half-million dollars.
Katherine Albert-McNaughton, 36, of Virginia Beach was charged with one count of making a forged security and two counts of engaging in monetary transactions relating to criminally derived property.

According to the indictment, Albert-McNaughton worked for HBA Architecture & Interior Design. It alleges she forged the signature of one of her bosses on 83 checks between October 2011 and June 2014. The checks totaled $469,831.89 and ranged in value from $768 to $9,987.

The theft was revealed last year during an internal audit, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court.

Albert-McNaughton was responsible for handling the firm's accounts, making bank deposits and distributing petty cash and charitable contributions, the affidavit said. She also was required to make monthly reports to the firm's financial manager regarding discrepancies between the company's bank statements and general ledger.

The affidavit said the financial manager found a check missing and asked Albert-McNaughton for the statements. Albert-McNaughton became nervous and started crying, and claimed she had just received a call about a family member who had been in an accident. She said she needed to go to the hospital and left, the affidavit said.

HBA Architecture is a familiar name in Hampton Roads. The firm worked on the new Kellam High School in Virginia Beach, as well as the new library in the Churchland section of Portsmouth and that city's new courthouse. It also has worked for TowneBank, Wachovia, the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, the Virginia Port Authority and the Children's Museum of Virginia.