Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Virginia Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $570K From American Diabetes Association

Adrienne Carrington, 56, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud admitting she embezzled nearly $570,000 from the American Diabetes Association where she had been employed as senior financial analyst and subsequently treasury manager.  According to authorities, over a period of  9 years, from August 2001 through September 2010, Carrington initiated at least 133 unauthorized wire transfers totaling $569,827.48 to an account she controlled for her own benefit.  Carrington reportedly spent some of the ill-gotten gains on gambling and supporting a lavish lifestyle.  Carrington allegedly attempted to conceal the thefts by altering internal accounting documents to make the fraudulent funds transfers appear to be legitimate business expenses. 

Read the story here and here.

Read the DOJ announcement here.

Washington State Man Sentenced For Embezzling $459K From Microsoft Corporation In Vendor Scheme

Robert D. Curry, 41, of Seattle, Washington, has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for embezzling $459,000 from Microsoft Corporation, where he had been employed as director of business development for Microsoft's Strategic Partnerships Team in the Online Audience Business Group.  According to authorities, Curry created a shell company, falsified invoices and ultimately attempted to make off with nearly $2 million from the company.  Curry reportedly used an "unwitting" third party, a legitimate Microsoft vendor, Pentad Solutions, to funnel fraudulent payments for goods and services for his own benefit.  In a letter to the court, Curry apologized for his actions while asserting he was angry at his employer in part because his manager would humiliated him on several occasions.  Curry, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud, has also been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $459,000.


Read the story here and here.

Former Treasurer For Wisconsin Church Sentenced For Embezzling $140K

John L. Roenz, 63, of Neillsville, Wisconsin, was sentenced for embezzling more than $140,000 from the Calvary Lutheran Church where he had served as treasurer.  As part of his plea agreement, Roenz agreed to serve 6 months in prison and pay restitution in the amount  of $127,555.  Roenz pleaded guilty on June 29, 2011 to one felony count of theft and two felony counts of fraud.   Roenz was originally charged last March with 12 felony fraud counts.  According to authorities, Roenz wrote 1,176 checks to himself over an 8 year period totaling $140,055, beginning in 2003.  However, the statute of limitations only allowed him being charged dating back to 2004.  Roenz had reportedly served as treasurer of the church for 24 years.

Read the story here.

Former Non-Profit Exec In Alaska Indicted For Embezzling $500K From Whaling Commission

Maggie Ahmaogak, 61, of Barrow, Alaska, has been indicted on charges she embezzling nearly $500,000 from the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission where she had served as executive director.  According to prosecutors, over a period of at least 3 years, from 2004 until 2007, Ahmaogak siphoned funds from the Commission in a variety of means for her own benefit, including taking payroll advances never repaid.  Ahmaogak had reportedly served as executive director of the non-profit for 17 years.  She is the wife of local politician, George Ahmaogak Sr.  Reports suggest Maggie Ahmaogak blamed a gambling habit for her actions.

Read the story here and here.

California Accountant Arrested For Allegedly Embezzing More Than $785K From Local Construction Company

Raeanne La Casse, 57, of Victorville, California has been arrested on suspicion she embezzled more than $785,000 from Eberhardt Construction where she had been employed as an accountant.  According to authorities, La Casse forged company checks for her own benefit, including to make payments on her house, car and credit cards.  She had worked for the construction company since 2000. 

Developing...

Read the story here.

Massachusetts Woman Charged With Embezzling $250K From Real Estate Concern

Cheryl Harvey, 51, of Lynn, Massachusetts, has been charged with embezzling nearly $250,000 from Century 21 Hughes Realty of Billerica, where she had been employed as a payroll clerk.  According to authorities, Harvey, over a period of nearly three years, beginning in July 2008, wrote at least 363 fraudulent checks totaling $247,713 to herself or her own benefit.  The embezzlement scheme was discovered in the course of an IRS audit, according to reports.  She has been released on $5,000 bond.

Read the story here and here.

Hat tip: Reader Joe.

California Man Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $319K From Utility

Donnie Alan Thomas, 47, of San Francisco, California has pleaded guilty to embezzling some $319,000 from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission where he had been employed as a work crew supervisor.  Specifically, Thomas pleaded guilty to four felony counts -- forging requests for payment, presenting fraudulent claims to the city, embezzlement, and making a false statement for the purpose of reducing premiums, rates or cost of worker's compensation insurance -- and a misdemeanor count of failing to file a return.  Thomas, who was originally arrested in 2009, reportedly worked on private electrical contracts through his company Tri Delta Electric Inc. while on SFPUC time.  His scheme spanned at least 4 years, from 2003 through 2007.  With his plea agreement, Thomas will be sentenced to 3 years in prison and must pay restitution in the amount of $319,000. 

Read the story here and here.

Former CFO Of Alabama Company Pleads Guilty To Embezzling More Than $1.2 Million

Barry A. Thomas, 48, of Birmingham, Alabama, has pleaded guilty to charged he embezzled $1,226,277 from Central Leasing Corporation where he had been employed as chief financial officer.  Thomas was charged last July with wire fraud.  Prosecutors alleged that Thomas embezzled from the company over a 7 year period, from July 2003 until August 2010, by manipulating the payroll system to pay himself more than his regular salary.  Thomas faces up to 20 years in prison.

Read the story here.

See the DOJ announcements here and here.

Illinois Woman Charged With Embezzling $143K From Municipality

Leslie E. Dona, 41, of Wood River, Illinois, has been charged with embezzling nearly $143,000 from the City of Wood River, where she had been employed as assistant finance director.    According to authorities, Dona wrote numerous unauthorized payroll checks to herself over a period of at least four years, beginning in 2007.  Dona had been a 17 year veteran employee of the municipality.

Read the story here and here.

Update (7/24/12): Dona, now 42, was sentenced to 3 years in prison after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of theft of between $10,000 to $100,000. 

California Woman Charged With Embezzling $712K From Church

Eleanor Jane Zapanta, 51, of Guerneville, California, has been arrested and charged with embezzling $712,948 from the Center for Spiritual Living of Santa Rosa church where she had served as business manager.  According to prosecutors, Zapanta wrote more than 250 unauthorized checks to herself or her own benefit over a period of at least 6 years, from 2004 to 2010.  She has been charged with 7 felony counts of grand theft by an employee, 7 counts of forging business documents with a white-collar crime enhancement for fraud in excess of $500,000.  Zapanta faces up to 12 years in state prison, if convicted.  The embezzlement is believed to be the largest in Northern California this year.

Read the story here and here.

Hat tip: Fraudtalk reader Joe and reader Cheryl.

Update (10/10/11): Zapanta has plead not guilty to the charges.

Update (3/12/12): Zapanta has agreed to a plea agreement, pleading guilty to embezzling nearly $713,000 and has been sentenced to 6 years in prison.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Southern California Bookkeeper Arrested For Allegedly Embezzling More Than $3 Million From Club

Tara Virginia Moore, 39, of Loma Portal, California, was arrested and charged yesterday with embezzling more than $3 million from Jack's La Jolla, where she had been employed as a bookkeeper.  Jack's La Jolla, described as a high-end restaurant and bar, reportedly shuttered two years ago amid "extensive monetary losses," now attributed to Moore's alleged thefts.  Details regarding how Moore misappropriated the money have not been disclosed.  However, she reportedly had worked at the club for about four hears, beginning in 2005.  Authorities reported that some $400,000 in assets have been seized at Moore's home, which she shares with her Navy-physician husband and three young children.

Developing...

Read the story here and here.

Update (11/15/11): Moore has now been additionally charged with stealing more than $1.8 million from her former mother-in-law, according to reports.  She has pleaded not guilty to charges of felony financial elder abuse, grand theft and forgery.

Update (7/9/12): Read an update of the story here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kansas Woman Charged With Embezzling More Than $100K From Hotel Concern

Tamie E. Vahsholtz, 50, of Emporia, Kansas, has been charged with embezzling more than $100,000 from the Candlewood Suites where she had been employed as hotel manager.  According to authorities, Vahsholtz issued numerous checks and used a company credit card to benefit herself, her family and Candlewood bookkeeper Marguerite “Peggy” Williams.  She is allged to have stolen $199,403 from Candlepoint over a nearly 2 1/2 year period, between April 1, 2008, and August 18, 2010.  Vahsholtz reportedly worked at the hotel for 25 years before she was fired in August 2010 after the alleged thefts surfaced. 

Read the story here and here.

North Carolina Woman Charged With Embezzling Nearly $200K From County Coffers

Kaye Barbour Ward, 60, of Four Oaks, North Carolina, has been charged with embezzling nearly $200,000 from Johnston County where she had served as administrative secretary and manager of the county auditorium for the Johnston County Cooperative Extension.  According to prosecutors, over a period of 7 years, from September 2003 to September 2010, Ward issued and forged at least 313 fraudulent checks drawn from county coffers for her own benefit.  She has been charged with three counts each of forgery and uttering forged paper, as well as one count each of obtaining property by false pretenses, embezzlement and felony larceny.  Ward is also accused of stealing more than $15,000 in cash receipts.  A total of $195,455 is alleged to have been misappropriated by Ward.

Read the story here and here.

West Virginia Man Indicted On Charges He Embezzled Nearly $250K From Fire Department

Stephen Wilson, 61, of Keyser, West Virginia, has been indicted on charges he embezzled nearly $250,000 from the Short Gap Fire Department where he had served as treasurer.  According to prosecutors, Wilson's scheme spanned a 14 year period which involved transferring department funds to his personal business accounts and to pay his personal bills.  He was charged with embezzlement and falsifying accounts, both felonies.  According to reports, Wilson was also charged with seven counts of wanton endangerment involving a firearm for bringing a gun to the last board meeting that he attended and threatening to take his own life.  A total of $242,269.15 is alleged to have been misappropriated by Wilson.

Read the story here and here.

Update (4/9/12): Wilson has pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement. 

West Virginia Woman Sentenced In $300K Bank Embezzlement Case

Katina Dawn Sweitzer, 38, of Fairview, West Virginia, was sentenced to ten years on home confinement and ordered to make restitution for embezzling some $300,000 from Huntington Bank where she had been employed.  According to authorities, Sweitzer was a cocaine user.

Read the story here and here.

Seems pretty lenient, IMHO...

Former Bookkeeper For Kansas Company Indicted On Charges He Embezzled More Than $2 Million

William H. Nolan, 50, of Wichita, Kansas, has been indicted on charges he embezzled more than $2 million from Steckline Communications, Inc., where he had served as bookkeeper.  According to prosecutors, Nolan forged checks to pay for his credit card purchases totaling nearly $864,000.  He is also accused of making electronic transfers from the company’s accounts to pay for another $1,180,000 in purchases for his own benefit.  Specifically, Nolan has been charged with one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud.  He faces up to 20 years in prison, plus fines and restitution.

Read the story here and here.

Update (7/23/12): Nolan, now 51, has been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to one felony count of wire fraud.    He was also ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution.  Nolan admitted that he stole from several companies whose books he was keeping, including LS Media, Steckline Communications, Inc., Mid-America Ag Network, Inc., and Broadcast Technical Associates, LLC.

Former Treasurer Of New Jersey Union Charged With Embezzling More Than $100K

Gregory Taylor, 56, of New Jersey, has been arrested and charged with embezzling more than $100,000 from the International Longshoreman's Association Local 1233 union where he had served as secretary-treasurer.  Taylor's schemes included the issuance of additional payroll checks, writing unauthorized checks to himself or for his own benefit and abusing union credit card accounts.  The schemes spanned at least 3 years, from 2007 - 2010. 
Developing...

Read the story here and here.

Former Democratic Operative & Campaign Treasurer Charged With Bank Fraud In Potential Multi-Million Dollar Embezzlement

Kinde L. Durkee, 58, of Burbank, California, was arrested last week and charged with federal bank fraud in connection with an alleged embezzlement of possibilly millions of dollars from a number of campaigns, including that of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).  According to Feinstein, her campaign coffers have been "wiped out," to the tune of millions of dollars.  Durkee's political consulting firm, Durkee & Associates has run afoul of campaign finance laws in the past.  In the current criminal case, Durkee reportedly had control over 400 bank accounts and appeared to be embezzling cash for personal use -- and then shuffling funds around different accounts to cover her trail, according to a federal complaint.  Media reports state that The Los Angeles County Democratic Party says they lost $200,000, Representative Susan Davis (D-San Diego) alleges losses of more than $250,000 and Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) says Durkee "emptied her campaign fund."  The FBI complaint against Durkee alleges that she embezzled more than $677,000 from the Solario for Assembly 2010 campaign and spent the money covering bounced employee payroll checks, paying for her mother's care at an assisted living facility, and paying Costco and Virgin Air bills.

Read the story herehere, here, here and here.

Update (3/30/12): Durkee, now 59, has pleaded guilty to embezzling at least $7 million from prominent Democrat politician's campaigns.

Pennsylvania Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $418K From Union

Jennine M. Prince, 41, of Allison Park, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to charges she embezzled $418,070.96 from the Ironworkers Local 3 union where she had served as a bookkeeper.  According to prosecutors, over a period of at least four years, from 2005 through 2009, Prince skimmed cash payments made by union members for dues as well as wrote checks to herself for her own benefit.  She faces up to 2 1/2 years upon sentencing next January 13, 2012. 

Read the story  here and here.

Read the DOJ announcement here.

Fomer Minnesota Dept. of Revenue Auditor Sentenced For $1.9 Million Embezzlement

Pamela Marie Dellis, age 59, of Lindstrom, Minnesota, has been sentenced to 60 months in prison for embezzling some $1.9 million from the State of Minnesota, where she had been employed as an auditor.  According to prosecutors, Dellis, over a period of about 5 1/2 years, from January 2005 through September 2010, conspired with others to siphon the funds from state coffers by creating fraudulent refunds for her own benefit.  Dellis, who was originally charged last January, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of money laundering.  Two of Dellis' co-conspirators include Nancy T. Sondrall, age 55, of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota and her niece, Laurie R. Sondrall, age 29, of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Nancy and Laurie Sondrall each pleaded guilty to conspiracy in March.  Laurie Sondrall was sentenced to 27 months in prison and Nancy Sondrall is scheduled to be sentenced on September 23, 2011.

Read the story here and here.

Read the DOJ announcement here.

Hat tip: FraudTalk reader Joe.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Former Exec Of Connecticut Boys & Girls Club Accused Of Embezzling $100K

Robert M. Generali, 52, of Waterbury, Connecticut, has been charged with embezzling nearly $100,000 from The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Waterbury where he had served as executive director.  According to authorities, over at least a period of about a year and a half, beginning in January 2010, Generali allegedly siphoned funds from the club to finance a lavish lifestyle.  Generali reportedly had served as executive director since 1989 and had control of all of the organization's finances.  Specifically, Generali has been charged with theft concerning a program receiving federal funds.  Investigators have reportedly documented $96,000 in losses so far but the thefts could date back as far as 2006.

Read the story herehere and here.

Kansas Woman Sentenced For Embezzling $433K

Amie Elisabeth Ard, 30, of Topeka, Kansas was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for embezzling more than $433,000 from a convenience store operated by the Wood Oil Company where she had served as store manager.  According to prosecutors, Ard simply took cash from the daily receipts and falsified company records in an attempt to cover up the thefts.  Specifically, Ard pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.  She was also ordered to pay $433,632 in restitution.  Ard's scheme reportedly spanned about an 8 month period during 2008.  She was originally indicted in November 2010.

Read the story here and here.

Hat tip: Reader Joe.

Former Texas Company Controller Sentenced For Embezzling Nearly $1 Million

Carla Jean Johnson, 40, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced to 120 months in prison for embezzling a total of $977,418.38 from Columbia Lloyd’s, a local insurance company for which she had been employed as controller.  According to prosecutors, over a 2 year period, from July 2007 until July 2009, Johnson, with the aid of several co-conspirators, siphoned funds from the company by transferring funds and issuing fraudulent checks. 

Read the DOJ announcement here.

Connecticut Woman Charged With Embezzling More Than $400K From Employer

Roberta Davis, 45, of Norwalk, Connecticut has been arrested and charged with embezzling a total of $407,899.87 from Theatre Projects Consultants, where she had been employed as a bookkeeper.  Davis' scheme primarily involved issuing fraudulent checks to herself and attempting to make them look like legitimate vendor payments.  Davis is also charged with making fraudulent charges on company credit cards for her own benefit.  Specifically, she has been charged with bank fraud and credit card fraud.

Read the story here.

Hat tip: Reader Joe.

Missouri Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $103K From Food Concern

Mary Ellen Schorgl, 50, of Kansas City, Missouri, pleaded guilty last week to charges she embezzled more than $103,000 from Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. where she had been employed as property and lease administration manager.  According to authorities, over a period of more than 7 years, from January 2004 until May 2011, Schorgl created false invoices for repairs or other services on properties that she managed and had the checks returned to her directly.  Schorgl then fraudulently endorsed the checks for her own benefit and in some cases made the checks payable to J & L Electric, Inc., a company she owned with her husband.  She faces up to 30 years in prison, plus a $1 million fine and restitution for the bank fraud guilty plea.

Read the plea agreement here.

Read the story here and here.

Read the DOJ announcement here.

Pennsylvania Woman Charged With Embezzling $150K From Auto Body Shop

Lisa Collazzo, 50, of Morton, Pennsylvania, has been charged with embezzling more than $150,000 from Keenan Auto Body, where she had been employed as a cashier.  According to reports, Collazzo embezzled the funds beginning in 2007 and continued until April 2011 with at least 302 questionable cashier transactions and then attempted to cover up her actions by tampering computer accounts.  A total of $152,663.04 is alleged to have been stolen.  Collazzo has been charged with theft, receiving stolen property and tampering with records.

Read the story here and here.

Hat tip: Reader Joe.

South Carolina Woman Charged With Embezzling Nearly $500K From Auto Dealership

Charity Chastain, 56, formerly of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, has been charged with embezzling at least $490,168 from Stokes Automotive, where she had been employed as a chief financial officer.  According to authorities, Chastain forged checks or tricked the owner into signing others that went to her benefit, such as paying her mortgage and other personal vendors as well as several made out to her son, son's business and her former boyfriend.  The scheme spanned nearly 6 years, from 2005 until February 2011.  Chastain had been planning on retiring to Costa Rica and was arrested in Florida following her return to the US to face the charges in this case.

Read the story here.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Municipal Embezzlement Cases On The Rise In Iowa

Embezzlement cases involving municipalities in Iowa are on the rise, so says a report from the Iowa Auditor's Office.  According to the report, the office conducted 7 embezzlement investigations of finances in cities with fewer than 700 residents between 1996 and 2005.  In the past five years, since 2006, the number of investigations has grown to 32.  Marquet International's analysis shows that the trend is not only on the municipal level, but also for private businesses, where the sums misappropriated are even more significant.  Major embezzlements of governments and governmental bodies is the most frequent sector affected, with the second highest gross losses of all industries surveyed, according to the 2010 Marquet Report On Embezzlement.

Read the story here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Utah Man Pleads Guilty To Embezzling Nearly $215,000 From Doctor's Office

Ryan O. Holloway, 35, of Moab, Utah, has pleaded guilty to charges he embezzled nearly $215,000 from the medical offices of Dr. Ray Andrew, where he had been employed as office manager.  According to prosecutors, over a period of two and a half years, from 2008 to early 2011, Holloway forged checks and made funds transfers from the practice's accounts into his own account or to pay personal vendors.  As part of his plea agreement, Holloway agreed to make full restitution in lieu of prison time although he could face up to 12 years in prison when sentenced on September 27th. 

Read the story here.

South Dakota Woman Sentenced For Embezzling $220K From Plastics Manufacturer

Sarah Schmidt, 42, of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for embezzling some $220,000 from Impak Co., where she had been employed as an administrative assistant.  According to prosecutors, over a period of more than five years, from January 2005 until April 2010, Schmidt siphoned funds from the company by forging checks.  She pleaded guilty to 10 counts of grand theft claiming mental illness.

Read the story here.

Former Virginia Attorney Convicted Of Embezzling At Least $450K From Law Firm

Kyle Cornelia Leftwich Banning, 46, of Henrico, Virginia, has been found guilty of embezzling at least $450,000 from the law firm of Marks & Harrison, where she had been employed as an attorney.  According to reports, Leftwich deposited social security payment checks into her own accounts instead of the firm's trust accounts, meant as payments for disabled clients.  Leftwich-Banning, whose scheme began in 2003 and continued until its discovery in 2010, has been disbarred and forced out of the law firm.  She has also reportedly paid the law firm $450,000 to settle a civil restitution case last August.

Read the story here, here and here.

Update (11/18/11): Leftwich, who will be 47 this month, was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

Update (1/14/15): Leftwich, now 50, was denied early release from her 40 month prison term.  Read an update of the story here.

Pennsylvania Man Indicted On Charges He Embezzled $536K From Financial Firm

Harris M. DeWese, 69, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, has been indicted on charges he embezzled more than $536,000 from the employee pension plan of his financial firm, Compass Capital Partners for which he is also chief executive.  According to authorities, over a period of about 1 year, from October 2006 to October 2007, DeWese looted Compass' pension plan to support a financially troubled company in which he had a 40% financial interest, called Hillsboro Printing, based in Tampa, Florida.  DeWese faces up to 40 years in prison, plus fines and restitution, if convicted.

Read the story here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Virginia Woman Charged With Embezzling $100,000

Crystal Darlene Chapman, 30, of Glade Spring, Virginia, has been arrested and charged with embezzling more than $105,000 from Marsh Propane where she had been employed.  According to authorities, Chapman siphoned the funds through a series of fraudulent transactions beginning in January 2008.  Chapman has been charged with 7 felony embezzlement counts.

Read the story here.

Idaho Woman Charged With Embezzling $530K

Tracy Dalin, 49, of Blaine County, Idaho, has been charged with embezzling more than $530,000 from  Sun Land Investments where she had been employed as office manager.  According to authorities, Dalin siphoned the funds from the Bellvue, Idaho-based real estate brokerage and investment firm over a seven year period, from 2002 - 2009.  Dalin allegedly wrote checks to herself and abused company credit cards to pay for personal expenses during this period.  She has been charged with 8 felony counts including 2 counts of theft by embezzlement, 2 counts of forgery, 1 count of criminal possession of a financial transaction card, 1 count of grand theft and 2 counts of grand theft by unauthorized control.

Read the story here.

Update (6/20/12): Dalin, now 50, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of forgery and grand theft and faces a 12 year prison sentence, according to the plea agreement.  Four other felony counts were dismissed as part of the agreement.

Arizona Man Accused Of Embezzling $444K From Flooring Company

Michael Leibow, 66, of Mesa, Arizona, has been arrested on suspicion he embezzled $444,150 from Grizzle's Flooring where he had been employed as a part-time accountant.  According to authorities, Leibow issued numerous forged checks to himself and his wife.  He had been employed by the company for 7 years.  Leibow has been arrested on three counts of fraudulent schemes and one count of theft.

Read the story here.