Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Major Embezzlement Cases: September 1 - 7, 2012

Paul Nogaki
Paul Takuya Nogaki, 55, of Murrieta, California, was arrested on charges he embezzled as much as $135,000 from the Vista Murrieta Golden Alliance Band Boosters for which he had served as treasurer.  According to media reports, an informal audit was conducted after a new treasurer was appointed which confirmed that Nogaki had misappropriated Band Booster Club funds for his personal use. 
Update (10/24/12): Nogaki has pleaded not guilty to the embezzlement charges of what is now believed to be more than $212,000.  His thefts allegedly spanned a 2 year period.

Todd W. Lauzon, 39, of Woonsockett, Rhode Island, pleaded guilty to 30 counts of embezzlement in connection with his alleged theft of at least $137,000 from customer deposits for pre-payment of funderal services with his business, Lauzon Funeral Home.  Prosecutors allege that Lauzon misappropriated client funds over a 7 year period, from 2002 to 2009. 
Update (9/5/12): Lauzon was sentenced to a net 4 years in prison.

Patricia Ann Stanz, 61, pleaded guilty to charges she embezzled more than $525,000 from the Gesu Roman Catholic Church in West Toledo, Ohio where she had served as business manager.  Over a period of about 3 years, from June 2008 through August 2011, Stanz issued nearly 100 checks to herself or cash.  During this period she also abused church credit card accounts for her own benefit.  Specifically, Stanz pleaded guilty to one count each of counterfeit securities and of fraudulent use of access device.  Stanz reportedly blames a gambling addiction for her actions.
Update (2/23/13): Stanz was sentenced to two years in federal prison and ordered to repay $505,777 in restitution.

The late Linda Mae Jenkins, who passed away at 53 on March 24, 2012 from cancer, is reported to have embezzled about $140,000 from Old Orchard Beach, Maine's Libby Memorial Library, where she had served as bookeeper.  Jenkins' thefts reportedly spanned a 6 year period.  Officials blamed a complete lack of oversight for the embezzlement.

Charity Howder
Charity D. Howder, 36, of Santa Rosa, California, has been arrested on charges she embezzled some $262,000 from a Petaluma consulting company and a Rohnert Park law office where she had served as outside bookkeeper.  Howder allegedly wrote numerous checks from the accounts of her two clients, The Law Offices of Charlotte Creaghan and Project Management Solutions, Inc., for her own benefit.  Specifically, Howder has been charged with one count of grand theft and two counts of forgery. 
Update (12/3/12): Howder is now suspected of embezzling an additional $102,000 from a third client, Andreoli's Towing, through her bookkeeping business, G&C Financial

Two former North Carolina Central University administrators were indicted for allegedly conspiring to misappropriate more than $1 milliion from the institution.  The two include Nan Coleman, who administered the former Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium, and former NCCU Provost Beverly Washington Jones.  Coleman and Jones allegedly embezzling $137,330 and $62,128, respectively, in grant money meant to help African American students.  Coleman allegedly stole the funds over a 5 year period, from 2005 through 2010 and Jones misappropriated the funds over a 4 year period, from 2005 through 2009.  An additional $600,000 was allegedly diverted to a private account used by Coleman to pay for personal expenses over a nine month period between December 2008 and August 2009. 

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