Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Major Embezzlement Cases: August 7 - 13, 2012

I am going to make a concerted effort to get caught up here, but it may take some time.  Real work and life has intruded on all this fun fraud stuff...

Nicholas James Collins, 55, of Minneapolis, MN was arrested on charges he embezzled more than $155,000 from Open Arms of Minnesota, a local non-profit that delivers food to home bound individuals through Meals on Wheels and Loaves & Fishes charities.  He was the director of food services from 2009 to 2012 and presented fraudulent invoices for catering services.
Update (3/29/13): Collins pleaded guilty to four counts of theft by swindle in connection with the embezzlement of about $155,000 from Open Arms of Minnesota.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4, 2013.

Monica Lou Pruett, 59, of Connell, Washington, was arrested on charges she embezzled more than $100,000 from D & S Farms where she had served as outside bookkeeper through her business, Lierman Business Services.  Developing...  Note: Pruett was the mayor pro-tem of Connell, Washington at the time of her arrest.
Update (11/14/12): Pruett is scheduled to go on trial in December 2012 on aggravated felony charges of first-degree theft and money laundering.  According to court documents, her thefts spanned nearly 7 years from June 2005 through April 2012.  She is accused of using client checks from D&S Farms to pay her personal and business property taxes and utilities.

Read more here:

Bobby Glen Guin
Bobby Glen Guin, 44, of Minden, Louisiana, was indicted on charges he allegedly embezzled nearly $100,000 from the Webster Parish Coroner’s Office where he had been employed as a bookkeeper.  The thefts reportedly spanned more than a 3 year period, from March 4, 2009 through June 15, 2012, according to the indictment.
Update (11/14/12): Guin has been sentenced to a net 1 year in jail.

A prominent Tennessee-based surgeon, Dr. David G. Stanley, filed a civil lawsuit against his former bookkeeper, Jeffrey L. Russell, now 64, and SunTrust Bank for damages sustained as a result of Russell's embezzlement of some $654,003.82 from two of Dr. Stanley's companies over a five year period, from 2005 through 2010.  Russell was indicted in August 2011 on eight counts of forgery and two counts of theft and was arrested in July 2012 after months on the run.  According to the lawsuit, Russell wrote checks out of the operating accounts of Vascular Diagnostic Center of Oak Ridge, and Stanley's billing company, Physicians Diagnostic Services and deposited them into the SunTrust account of Premier Business Services, a janitorial business owned by Russell.

Ignacio "Nacho" Morales, 40, of North Philadelphia, PA, was charged with embezzling more than $2.3 million from the Borinquen Federal Credit Union (BFCU), where he was employed as a manager.  Morales repotedly used the ill-gotten gains to purchase 15 kilograms of cocaine and real estate.  BFCU was acquired by the National Credit Union Association in June 2011 which propmptly shuttered the financial institution.  Specifically, Morales has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, misapplication and embezzlement, making false reports on federal credit institution entries, engaging in monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity, filing false federal income tax returns, and attempted possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

Erica Gilmore-Grier, 35, of Fort Pierce, Florida has been indicted along with six other female beneficiaries/conspirators in a scheme to embezzle more than $200,000 from Policy Studies Inc., where she had been employed as a financial manager.  Specifically, she has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and 64 counts of mail fraud.  According to the indictment, Gilmore-Grier authorized at least 64 fraudulent refund checks to her family and friends, also named as co-defendants in the case.  These include Margo Nickerson, Bridgette Galarza, Chelsea Durham, Jessica Harris, Jamile Williams and Venus Holloman.
Update (2/26/13): Gilmore-Grier was sentenced to 33 months in prison.  He co-horts, including Margo Nickerson, 36, Jessica Harris, 22, Jamile Williams, 34, and Venus Holloman, 26, and Port St. Lucie residents Bridgette Galarza, 31, and 40-year-old Chelsea Durham, were also convicted on related charges.  Nickerson was sentenced to 30 months, Harris to 24 months and Holloman to 20 months. The remaining will serve four to eight months.

John Kammerer, 60, of Wichita, Kansas, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for embezzling more than $1.2 million from Network Results of Kansas Inc. where he had been employed as company controller.  According to reports, Kammerer caused numerous checks to be issued to HMK Enterprises, a company that he controlled.  Kammerer had pleaded guilty last May to one count of bank fraud in connection with the embezzlement and must pay $1,240,540 in restitution.

Three parking attendants at the  Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia were arrested for embezzling at least $400,000 in parking fees over a period of 3 years.  The arrested included two women, Freweyni Mebrahtu of Sterling, VA and Genete Yigzu of Alexandria, VA, and one man, Meseret Terefe of Silver Spring, Maryland, employees of Parking Management Inc., which held the contract to manage the parking lot.  The three were recorded unplugging automobile counting devices and pocketing the difference, as much as $4,000 a day each.
Update (2/8/13): According to media reports, more than $1.5 million was stolen from the Smithsonian via the three parking attendant conspiracy over about a 3 year period.  Mebrahtu admitted she alone stole $895,000 herself and was sentenced to 27 months in prison.  Terefe was sentenced to 20 months in prison and Yigzu died before trial. 

Denise Inez Owens, 58, of Ocean Pines, Maryland, has been charged with embezzling more than $433,000 from the Worcester County Teacher's Association, where she had served as Treasurer.  Owens allegedly wrote numerous unauthorized checks to herself and others, and made withdrawals from the account for "personal issues and debt," according to the police.  Developing...
Update (2/19/13): Owens pleaded guilty to charges she embezzled $433,000 from the teachers union and blamed a gambling habit for her actions.
Update (3/4/13): Owens was sentenced to 2 years in prison and ordered to pay $211,545 in restitution.

Davie Ba Ngo, 52, president of the Concerned Members Committee in Northern California and his co-worker, Stephanie Tuyet Le, 31, were charged with embezzling at least $200,000 from the survifor benefits firm.  Prosecutors charged both Ngo and Le with embezzlement. Ngo is also charged with theft by false pretenses, sale of an unqualified security, running a fraudulent securities scheme, money laundering and bouncing checks.
Update (1/4/13): Ngo, now 53, pleaded no contest to felony embezzlement charges.  Le, now 32, was convicted on a single embezzlement charge.
Update (3/1/13): Ngo was sentenced to 2 years in prison and Le was sentenced to 6 months.

Jamie Askew, 36, of Troy, Illinois, has been indicted on charges she embezzled $104,755 between July 2009 and May $104,755 between July 2009 and May 2012 from St. Louis Community Credit Union in St. Louis, Missouri,  where she had ben employed.  Developing...
Update (12/17/12): Askew pleaded guilty to one felony count of embezzlement.

John C. Sheehan, 43, of Rohnert Park, California, has been arrested for allegedly embezzling about $1 million from Bibbero Systems Inc. where he had been employed for 15 years.  The thefts reportedly spanned a 6 year period.  Sheehan has been charged with eight felony counts, including grand theft and possession of stolen property.  Meanwhile, the company has suffered financially and has reduced its staff by 50% over the past 5 years. 
Update (11/21/12): Sheehan, orginally known as John Christopher Schoenthal, was sentenced to more than 9 years in prison.  According to prosecutors, Sheehan created a fictitious company, MP Technologies, and began billing for office supplies never received.

James Ryan Lanier, 33, of Albany, Georgia was arrested San Diego, California on fraud, money laundering, and identity theft charges relating to the embezzlement of more than $800,000 in funds from Merrill Lynch clients.  According to the indictement, over a period of more than 2 years, from 2008 through 2010, Lanier transmitted fraudulent letters of authorization bearing forged client signatures to wire funds for his own benefit. 
Update (3/8/13): Lanier was sentenced to 106 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $887,931 in restitution to Merrill Lynch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!