Monday, December 17, 2012

Major Embezzlement Cases: August 14 - 20, 2012

Cheryl Porter
Cheryl Celeste Kenyon Porter, 45, of Greensboro, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to charges she embezzled about $162,000 from Piedmont Staffing Solutions Inc., where she had been employed and had the responsibility of handling the company's payroll.  According to authorities, Porter caused the payroll system to cut additional payroll checks to herself and family members, totalling $162,000.  The thefts spanned a period of about 4 years, beginning in 2008.

Heather Nicole Laake, 21, of Winifrede, West Virginia, has been charged with embezzling more than $101,000 from the South Charleston Employees Federal Credit Union where she had been employed.  According to authorities, Laake took funds from customer accounts and changed the account information in an effort to conceal the thefts.  Laake's boyfriend at the time, Dewayne Spaulding, is also facing similar charges.  The misappropriations reportedly spanned a 4 month period. 

Stennett “Glen” Bernard, 58, of Brockton, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 5 years probation and ordered to pay restitution for embezzling $173,312 from the United Steelworkers Local 421 union which operated at the Serta Mattress Company in Middleboro, Mass.  Bernard had served as president of the union from which he siphoned funds over a period of about 2 years. 

Joseph Winford Hughes, 44, and his wife, Cylena Taylor Hughes, 44, both of Bryson City, North Carolina, were arrested and charged with embezzling more than $100,000 from the Bryson City Fire Department local Firemen’s Relief Fund and the East Swain Elementary Parent Teacher Organization fund.  Joseph Hughes was the Bryson City fire chief. 

Pamela Fisha Nishon Atkinson, 41, of Asheville, North Carolina, was arrested and charged with embezzling more than $100,000 from Wood Tech Enterprises over a period of about 2 years, from 2009 to 2011.   Developing...

Cathleen Schmid
Cathleen Schmid, believed to be in her mid-40s, has been arrested and charged with embezzling about $220,000 from Dominion Liquid Technologies of Fairfax, Ohio.  The thefts reportedly spanned a 3 year period, from 2008 through 2011.  Schmid allegedly submitted fraudulent expense reports for reimbursement and caused the company to issue checks to third party personal vendors to whom she owed money.
Update (11/20/12): Schmid, 47, was sentenced to 2 years in prison.  She has a history of embezzlement and was convicted in:
  • 2006 for stealing $51,126.82 from Hills Developers, where Schmid worked from March 2003 to August 2005. She also used fake invoices there to help her steal company money. She was placed on probation and ordered to repay the company;
  • 2009 for stealing $10,000 from her Mason employer, National Starch, now known as Henkel Co. She was placed on probation for three years in 2009 and ordered to spend 150 days in jail on a work release program. She was working for Dominion at that time;
  • 2000 in Clermont County for a theft case for which she received probation, the judge said Monday. It’s unclear if that conviction was for stealing from an employer.

Mirza H. Baig, 49, of Marlborough, Massachusetts was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison for embezzling more than $2 million from New England Cash Dispensing Systems Inc. which was contracted to manage ATMs for the Domestic Bank of Cranston, Rhode Island.  Baig and other NECDS employees reportedly ordered excess cash for ATM refills and pocketed the difference.

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