Sunday, August 5, 2012

Major Embezzlement Cases: July 8 - 15

Jay S. Fischer, 52, of Wausau, Wisconsin, has been charged with embezzling more than $1 million from his mortgage clients at Valley Title, which he owned.  According to authorities, Fischer kept client funds intended to pay off mortgages for his own benefit.  Fischer has been charged with 25 felony counts, including racketeering, embezzlement and various tax crimes.  Note: Fischer is also facing unrelated child molestation and sexual assault charges.

Jennifer Hughes-Boyles, 40, of Topeka, Kansas, has been ordered to pay $712,145 in restitution to Heritage Bank, for which she had been employed as a vice president.  Hughes-Boyles pleaded guilty to bank fraud in connection with her misappropriation of the funds from the bank through a fraudulent loan scheme.
Update (9/10/12): Hughes-Boyles was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

An investigation into the possible embezzlement of $109,454 from the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edmond, Oklahoma.  A suspect has not yet been publicly named.  Developing...
Update (12/18/12): Bill Dwight Coyle, 62, of Edmond, Oklahoma, and the former business manager for the church, has been charged with eight felony counts in connection with the embezzlement.

Alice M. Foss, 50, of Springfield, Illinois, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges she embezzled at least $400,000 from Don Moss and Associates, a local consulting and lobbying firm, where she had been employed as CFO.  Foss allegedly misappropriated the funds over a 13 year period, from 1997 until 2010, by giving herself unauthorized bonuses and expense reimbursements. 

Iain Anderson, a resident of Ventura County, California has been accused in a civil suit of embezzling at least $600,000 from AND Syndicated Productions, the producer of such syndicated programs as The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and other TV shows.  Anderson is described in the suit as the "Lead Production Accountant" for several of the company's programs. The suit alleges that Anderson artificially inflated production costs and other expenses as well as requested petty cash for bogus expenses, comingling production funds with his personal bank accounts and recording bogus and false payroll transactions, plus other acts of conversion.  Read the complaint here.   Developing...

Dana Louise Sullivan, 46, of Park Township, Michigan, has been charged with embezzling at least $150,000 from Summit Properties, a local real estate firm where she had been employed.  Sullivan's thefts, which spanned at least 9 years, total as much as $500,000, according to company owner Tom Speet.  Sullivan reportedly has a prior criminal arrest for embezzlement and larceny from a financial institution in 2002.  She reached a plea agreement in that case, dropping the embezzlement charge.
Update (11/5/12): Sullivan, now 47, was sentenced to a minimum of 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $422,541 in restitution.

Kathleen Kau, of Honolulu, Hawaii, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for embezzling more than $360,000 from Transamerica Life Insurance Co. where she had been employed as an insurance agent.  According to authorities, Kau'd theft began in March 1998 and continued through June 2003, spanning more than 5 years.  Kau reportedly set up a P.O. Box and told clients that their homes were destroyed, redirecting mail to the new address.  Kau kept the insurance payments for herself. 

Andrea Lynn Hammond, 41, of Casper, Wyoming, has been arrested on felony theft charges for allegedly embezzling "a significant amount of funds" from the Family Crisis Services, Inc. for which she had served as Executive Director.  We believe that a "significant amount of funds" suggests more than $100,000.  Developing...
Update (1/14/13): Hammond pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of embezzlement of more than $20,000.  She reportedly used the non-profit's credit cards for personal use and gave herself significant unauthorized salary increases over a 3 year period.  The total amount understood to have been stolen is approximately $75,000.
Update (4/9/13): Hammond was sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Keri M. Geschke, 38, of DeForest, Wisconsin, has pleaded no contest to charges she embezzled some $123,000 from Sound Billing, where she had been employed as an accountant.  According to authorities, the thefts were discovered by Geschke's successor at the company, who found unusual deposits from the company's account to Geschke's bank account.  After the allegations surfaced in 2010, Geschke disappeared.  Read the story and see her image here.
Update (12/3/12): Geschke, now 39, has been sentenced to 4 months in prison and ordered to pay full restitution.

Elizabeth Walsh, 45, of Amherst, Massachusetts, has been charged with embezzling some $112,000 from the Amherst Pelham Education Association, for which she had served as treasurer.  The Association operates as the teachers union for the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District.  Developing...
Update (12/20/12): Walsh, now 46, pleaded guilty to felony larceny charges and was ordered to pay restitution of $116,000.  According to media accounts, Walsh wrote checks to herself over a 6 year period from 2006 to 2012.  She blamed personal financial troubles for her actions and was spared any jail time.

Taira Desart, 43, of Kalispell, Montana, has pleaded not guilty to charges she embezzled some $154,000 from Jesco Marine and Power Sports where she had served as bookkeeper for 17 years.  She has been charged with felony embezzlement and faces up to 10 years in prison.  The thefts allegedly spanned a period of about 6 and a half years.

Michael Wion, 40, of Piqua, Ohio and his assistant,Tess Cremeens, 43, of Troy, Ohio, have been charged with embezzling at least $675,000 from Repacorp where Wion was employed as Controller.  The misappropriation spanned approximately two years, according to authorities.
Update (4/24/13): Wion, 42, now of Venice, Forida, has pleaded not guilty to charges including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy to engage in corrupt activity, aggravated theft and a dozen counts of telecommunications fraud in connection with this embezzlement.  The total thefts are now reported to be nearly $800,000.

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