Friday, January 31, 2014

California Man Sentenced To 2 Years For Embezzling $200K From Non-Profit

From the Sacramento Bee on 1/30/14:

An El Dorado County man who formerly served as treasurer of the Lions Education Foundation has been sentenced to two years in prison for embezzlement.
Kent Maloney pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $200,000 from the nonprofit entity, which is associated with the Lions Club International, according to the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office. Maloney was sentenced Wednesday in El Dorado County Superior Court and remanded into custody immediately after sentencing.
Read the whole story here.

Read more here:

California Woman Sentenced For Embezzling More Than $400K From Charity

From the Associated Press on 1/30/14:

A Ventura County woman accused of stealing more than $400,000 from a charity where she worked has been sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.
The Ventura County Star reports ( ) 47-year-old Lorena Varela of Oxnard pleaded guilty to forgery and other charges in connection with the embezzlement from Arc of Ventura County.
Varela was a bookkeeper for the Ventura-based nonprofit, which serves residents with developmental disabilities
Prosecutors say she falsified electronic ledgers to show money had been paid to vendors. Instead, Varela used a signature stamp of an authorized Arc signatory and signed checks to herself.
Authorities say there 500 acts of theft over more than eight years. 

New Mexico Woman Accused Of Embezzling $344K From 2 Businesses Where She Kept The Books

From the Associated Press on 1/30/14:

A Farmington woman who works as a bookkeeper for two small businesses is accused of fraud and forgery.
San Juan County Sheriff's officials say 65-year-old Mary Hawkins is being held on 40 felony counts.
They say she allegedly wrote more than 220 fraudulent checks and embezzled more than $344,000 from the businesses over a 2 ½-year span beginning around July 2011.
Read the story here.

Michigan Man Pleads Guilty To Embezzling As Much As $120K From Illiinois School System

From WSIL TV Channel 3 on 1/30/14:

A former Williamson County school official has admitted to stealing. Thursday morning, Todd Frazier pled guilty to embezzlement and theft. 
Frazier, 31, was fired from his job as Carterville school district treasurer two years ago after funds turned up missing. 
He was indicted on more than a dozen charges last May, but Thursday, he only admitted to one. Frazier and the judge agreed, he abused his position of trust when handling the Carterville School District's money.
Frazier walked out of the federal courthouse in Benton with a smile on his face. When asked if he would like to say anything on camera, he replied, "No comment, thank you."
School leaders fired Frazier in February 2012 after an audit revealed missing funds. He was indicted on 16 counts and first pled not guilty to embezzlement, theft, forgery, wire fraud, lying to the FBI, and attempting to access computer files at the Bank of Herrin.
Thursday morning, he pled guilty to one count of embezzlement and theft. "It was just a guilty plea. He pleaded guilty straight up," said his attorney John Stobbs.
Frazier admitted to pocketing between $70,000 and $120,000 in the fiscal year ending in June of 2010.   
Read the whole story here

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Former Girl Scout Official In California Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $370K

From KTLA Channel 5 on 1/30/14:

A former senior manager for the Girl Scout Council of Greater Los Angeles has pleaded guilty to federal charges in an embezzlement scheme, the organization said Wednesday.

Channing Smack of Marina del Rey had been the senior property manager for the regional scouting organization until he was accused of embezzling $370,000 through false invoices and other means.

Read the whole story here.

Former Municipal Finance Official In Connecticut To Be Sentenced Today For Embezzling Nearly $500K

From the Associated Press on 1/30/14:

A former Shelton official is facing sentencing for stealing nearly $500,000 in city funds over several years. 
Sharon Scanlon is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Milford Superior Court. The Connecticut Post reports that she faces up to seven years in prison under a plea bargain deal, but her lawyer can argue for as little as three years behind bars. 
Prosecutors say Scanlon stole the money while serving as Shelton’s assistant finance director, a position she held for 17 years. 
Authorities say she made fraudulent deposits of city money into two personal bank accounts from 2001 to 2012. 
Scanlon pleaded no contest to felony larceny and forgery charges in October. She also has forfeited her retirement funds. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Missouri Couple Face Tax Charges Following $4 Million Embezzlement Scheme

From St. Joe Channel on 1/29/14:

A Chillicothe couple faces a new indictment connected to a $4 million wire fraud scheme.

Donna Preszler, 60, and her husband Terrance Preszler, 63, were indicted this week by a federal grand jury in Kansas City for filing a false income tax return.

According to the indictment, the couple failed to claim income from the wire fraud scheme involving Mrs. Preszler and her employer, Burdg, Dunham & Associates Construction Corp.
Mrs. Preszler allegedly embezzled millions from the Hamilton company where she worked as an accounting manager from 2004 to 2012.
Read the whole story here.

Update 2/13/14:  Donna and Terrance Preszler both pleaded guilty to various felony counts including wire fraud, money laundering and filing a false tax return.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vermont Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $120K From Hockey Association

From the Burlington Free Press on 1/27/14:

A central Vermont woman who embezzled about $120,000 from Cold Hollow Cider in Waterbury and from a local hockey group pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge of wire fraud, according to U.S. District Court records.
Michelle Rutledge, 47, of Berlin worked as the office manager and bookkeeper at Cold Hollow Cider from 2000-2013. She also served as the treasurer for the Friends of Harwood Youth Hockey Association from 2011-2013.
Read the story here.

California Man Arrested For Allegedly Embezzling $100K From Food Service Company

From the Appeal-Democrat on 1/28/14:

Sutter County sheriff's deputies arrested a man for allegedly embezzling around $100,000 from Sysco Food Services over a three-year period, authorities said Monday.
Robert John Smith, 49, of West Sacramento, was booked into Sutter County Jail on Friday on suspicion of grand theft, taking an amount exceeding $65,000, and embezzlement.
Read the story here.

Former Treasurer Of Municipal Fire Department In Kansas Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $427K

From the Topeka Capital-Journal on 1/27/14:

The former treasurer of the Mayetta Rural Fire District No. 1 pleaded guilty Monday to embezzling from the district, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

In his plea, the defendant agreed to an order that he pay $427,042 in restitution.

Richard P. Bontrager, 67, of Holton, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement. In his plea, he said that in 2008 he began embezzling from the fire district by issuing checks with the forged signatures of members of the board of the fire district.


Read the full story here.

Alaska Woman Charged With Embezzling $118K; Spent Money On Lifestyle

From the Fairbanks News-Miner on 1/26/14:
A former manager of the Fort Yukon Native village corporation was charged this month with embezzling as much as $118,000 from the corporation in 2009.
A felony criminal complaint against former Gwitchyaa Zee Corporation manager Zelma Louie Fairchild, 61, alleges she altered records and stole money from a safe, making a money loser out of what has since been a profitable Fort Yukon fuel store for the corporation. 
The investigation began when Fairchild’s successor took over the corporation and observed the corporation had less money than she expected, according to the complaint. In particular, there was less money for a separate account used by the company fuel store. Fairchild’s successor hired an accounting firm to audit store records, which found the store lost at least $118,000 between July 2009 and December 2009.

Read the whole story here.

Air Force Firearms Instructor Convicted Of Embezzling More Than $400K

From WTEV Channel 47 on 1/24/14:

A federal jury convicted a former Air Force firearms instructor from Brunswick of embezzling government funds and selling firearms without a license.

Timothy John Arnold, 43, worked as a firearms and tactics instructor for the U.S. Air Force Special Investigations Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at Glynco, Ga., from 2005-2011.

Prosecutors claimed he used a government credit card and purchasing orders to buy more than $400,000 worth of firearms and other unauthorized items over a five-year period.

Read the rest of the story here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Virginia Woman Accused Of Embezzling More Than $1 Million In Plea Agreement Negotiations

From the Fluvanna Review on 1/23/14:

In the second court appearance of a Fluvanna woman charged with embezzling more than $1 million from the Fork Union-based National Filter Service, the Fluvanna County Commonwealth’s Attorney indicated a plea bargain is in the works.
 Brenda van Emmenis, formerly Brenda Rigsby, appeared in court Thursday (Jan. 22) with her attorney, Bill Dinkins for what was scheduled as an arraignment on the charges.
Van Emmenis faces 20 felony counts – 13 for embezzlement and seven for conducting unlawful money transactions, the statute that deals with money laundering.
 Dinkins and Fluvanna’s Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff Haislip joined in a motion to continue the arraignment until Feb. 27.
 “We are close to working out a plea agreement,” Haislip told Circuit Court Judge Susan Whitlock.
Read the full story here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Former Mississippi Court Clerk Officer Re-Indicted For Embezzling $661K

From WJTV Channel 12 on 1/22/14:
State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today that a Warren County Grand Jury has returned a three-count indictment against Warren County Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley Palmertree. Palmertree was arrested and processed by Special Agents and Deputies at the Warren County Sheriff’s Office this morning.

Palmertree was indicted on three felony counts of embezzlement. A previous indictment from August, 2013 was dismissed due to a processing technicality. 
Read the article here.

Wisconsin Attorney Accused Of Embezzling $800K In Client Funds; Blames Gambling Addiction

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on 1/22/14:
A West Allis lawyer who told authorities in 2012 that he was stealing from clients has finally been charged criminally for his conduct.
Randy Wynn faces two counts of embezzlement over $10,000, but the criminal complaint indicates his illegal take over four years was closer to $800,000.  Wynn, 60, is expected to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.
Read the article here.

Pennsylvania Woman Charged With Embezzling $300K From Customer Accounts At Local Bank

From The Morning Call on 1/23/14:
A Lehighton woman is charged with embezzling more than $300,000 from customers' accounts at Jim Thorpe National Bank, where she worked as a customer service supervisor.
The U.S. attorney's office in Scranton said Shelly Ann Kocher intends to plead guilty to one count of theft or embezzlement by a bank officer. The charge, filed Wednesday in federal court, carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
According to court documents, Kocher, 42, stole $287,324 from the savings and certificate of deposit accounts shared by two customers by making frequent unauthorized cash withdrawals between September 2010 and April 2013.
Read the whole story here.

Update (1/8/2015): Kocher sentenced to 27 months in jail.  Her alleged theft is now believed to be $377,000.   Read the update here.

New Hampshire Woman Sentenced To 33 Months For Embezzling >$600K

From the Concord Monitor on 1/23/14:

Before sentencing Bonnie Johnson on Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Laplante looked to Mike Satzow, the owner of North Country Smokehouse, the business where Johnson embezzled more than $600,000.
Laplante asked Satzow what he thought of the 33-month prison sentence he was about to order.
“Your honor, I’m comfortable,” Satzow said.
With that, Johnson, 45, of Claremont, was sentenced for one count of wire fraud for stealing from her former employer. She will also be on three years of supervised release after she leaves prison.
When the crime was first discovered last year, Johnson confessed to Satzow when confronted and provided the Claremont police with two recorded statements, according to federal court documents.

She spent the money on luxury cars, jewelry and vacations, according to a lawsuit filed by Satzow.


Read the whole story here.

Former Water District Utility Employee In California Reaches Plea Agreement In $200K Embezzlement Case; Gambling Addiction Asserted

From the Daily Journal on 1/23/14:
The wheelchair-bound former Mid-Peninsula Water District worker accused of stealing more than $200,000 to fund a gambling addiction pleaded no contest Wednesday to embezzlement in return for no more than five years in prison.
 Catherine Marie Abou-Remeleh’s alleged crimes went unnoticed for three years until the 53-year-old Hayward woman left the district on medical leave after a 2011 stroke. 
Abou-Remeleh was originally charged with theft of government funds more than $200,000, identity theft and an allegation of committing aggravated white-collar crime.
She changed her plea Wednesday to no contest on one count of committing government fraud and stealing more than $200,000. Prosecutors made no promises but the court capped her potential term at five years when she is sentenced May 30. She will also likely be ordered to pay restitution and an aggravated white-collar crime fine.
Read the whole story here.

Missouri Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $2 Million Over 16 Year Period

From KSDK Channel 5 on 1/22/14:
A local woman faces more than three years in prison for embezzling $2 million from her former employer over a 16-year period.
 Elizabeth Earnest worked as an officer manager and assistant for the victim from 1997 and Feb. 2013. During that period, she wrote blank checks from her employer's account to herself, and covered up any evidence – even going as far as to shred the victim's bank statements.

Read the story here.

Former "Trusted" Bookkeeper Sentenced For Embezzling $700+K From Upstate NY Construction Concern

From the Buffalo News on 1/22/14:
Paul Marinaccio Sr. immigrated to the United States from his native Italy as a teenager, learned to speak English and started a construction company that put him on the path of becoming a millionaire.
 He treated his employees well along the way.
 So how did his company’s bookkeeper, a family friend, repay him?
She stole more than $700,000.
 After taking the job in 2008, Debora Gramza eventually became so busy stealing his money that she ignored her other duties and paperwork, and that created even more financial troubles for his business, Accadia Site Contracting of Depew, Marinaccio said.
 “You gave her a job with great benefits, and the thanks you got was she stole more than $700,000,” said Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case, who sentenced Gramza on Wednesday to two and one-third to seven years in prison.

Read the whole story here.

Arizona Woman Sentenced To Only 1 Year & a Day For Embezzling $780K

From the Arizona City Independent on 1/22/14:
A Casa Grande woman who pleaded guilty to embezzling $780,697 from a credit union has been sentenced to the term of one year and one day in prison.
 Jennelle Curtis was sentenced on Monday, January 6 in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.
Read the whole story here.

West Virginia Woman Sentenced In $100K Embezzlement Case

From the Record Delta on 1/21/14:

The woman who pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $100,000 from her employer’s businesses was sentenced to the penitentiary and must pay restitution following a hearing Thursday in Upshur County Circuit Court.

Pamela Jean Butcher, 44, of Buckhannon had pleaded guilty to four counts of embezzlement previously but was originally indicted for nine counts of felony embezzlement and two counts of misdemeanor embezzlement. 
Read the story and see Butcher's mugshot here.

Michigan Woman Sentenced To 1 Year For Embezzling $135K; Blames Gambling; Owner "Treated Her Like Family"

From the Lansing Journal on 1/21/14:
Jane Idle’s voice shook as she talked about the woman who embezzled $135,000 from the St. Johns collection agency she owns.

“I loved her like a daughter,” Idle, 73, said Tuesday at a sentence hearing for Elizabeth Stevens in Clinton County Circuit Court. “And then, to have this happen.”

Stevens, 40, of St. Johns, was sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay restitution. She already has paid $20,000 but a final amount has not been determined.


Read the whole story here.

Utah Woman Charged With Embezzling $500K

From the Ogden Standard-Examiner on 1/22/14:

A woman is accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from her former employer.

Teri Ann Jarvis was a secretary at Positive Power, an electrical contractor in Ogden. Lt. Mark Lowther of the Weber County Sheriff's Office said Jarvis was charged with allegedly stealing money from the company through credit cards and checks over a course of five years.

An exact amount is currently unknown, but Lowther said Jarvis had embezzled about $500,000 while she was employed there.


Read the story here.

Former Pastor Awaits Sentencing For Embezzling Nearly $100K From California Church; Reportedly Had Prior Murder Conviction

From the Lake County Record-Bee on 1/21/14:

An ex-pastor who pleaded no contest to stealing money from a Clearlake church had his sentence hearing continued Tuesday afternoon at the Lake County Courthouse.

Bruce Stark, 63, will have to wait for his sentence for roughly a month after Judge Andrew S. Blum granted the defense and the court time to study evidence that could affect Stark's sentence. Stark faces up to three years in state prison, Deputy District Attorney Sharon Lerman-Hubert said.


Stark was arrested after allegations that that he stole tens of thousands of dollars in cash and property from the Hilltop Apostolic Church while he was a pastor from 2002 to 2007. His wife Shanell Stark, who pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge related to the embezzlement and was sentenced to serve probation time, reportedly held a secretarial position at the time of the alleged theft.

Read the whole story here.

South Dakota Woman Indicted On Charges She Embezzled More Than $100K From Local School District

From KXLG 99.1 on 1/22/14:

A Codington County Grand Jury has indicted Denise Suzanne Trively, age 42 of Watertown on one count of Grand Theft Embezzlement.  She is alleged to have embezzled property in excess of $100,000 belonging to the Watertown School District during the time frame from June of 2012 to October of 2013.  Trively was employed by the Watertown School District as the benefits coordinator during the time frame.  She has been suspended from her position since mid November.  She was arrested on the charge and will make her first court appearance  February 25th.  Agents from the Division of Criminal Investigation from the Attorney General’s Office along with the Watertown Police Department assisted in the investigation.  Grand Theft Embezzlement is a class three felony and carries a 15 year prison sentence along with a $30,000 fine or both.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ponzitracker Launches Ponzi Scheme Database

Ponzitracker has launched a database intended to be a list of major Ponzi schemes uncovered and/or sentenced since the "Madoff era," and represents an extensive effort to provide transparency to the massive economic and societal toll of Ponzi schemes.   Ponzitracker is run by Florida-based litigation and fraud attorney Jordan MaglichMarquet International and Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. were also instrumental in helping Jordan develop the database.

Access the Ponzi Database here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Michigan Woman Sentenced To Only 1 Year For Embezzling $149K

From WOOD TV8 on 1/21/14:
A Grand Rapids woman who embezzled from her employer will spend time in jail and must pay back nearly $150,000.

Mande Bishop, 39, was sentenced Tuesday to 60 months of probation and one year in jail. She will have to report the jail to start her sentence on the morning of Jan. 31.

She was also ordered to pay $148,964.35 in restitution.

Bishop was arrested in September 2013 and charged with taking money from Strategic National...

Read the whole article here.

Hat tip: FraudTalk reader Joe.

Marine Corps Embezzlement Conspiracy Scandal Leads To Changes In Financial Controls

From the Marine Corps Times on 1/21/14:

The Marine Corps is tightening its travel and expense policies in response to an embezzlement scandal involving reservists that hit headlines late last year.

Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, commander of Marine Forces Reserve, said in an interview that the Marine Corps is eliminating cash advances for travel and increasing oversight on temporary active duty orders to discourage dishonesty and theft. The new rules for TAD orders affect active-duty personnel as well as reservists.

The Internal Revenue Service charged seven Marine reservists in November with conspiracy to defraud the Defense Department to the tune of more than $874,000. The reservists, all from 3rd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company out of Terminal Island, Calif., were accused of receiving payments for fraudulent travel and hotel expenses. Another 21 Marine reservists were charged with filing false tax returns as part of the IRS bust. The indictment alleges that one of the Marines filled out travel vouchers with phony information to receive reimbursements for nonexistent trips and false lodging costs.


Read the story here.

Monday, January 20, 2014

California Non-Profit Sues Former Bookkeeper Alleging She Embezzled > $200K To Remodel Her Home; Institution Helps Needy Children

From the NBC News on 1/20/14:

A non-profit for children and teens says a former employee embezzled more than $200,000. The organization is suing a former bookkeeper, claiming she took the money to remodel her home.

Out of its gym near Golden Gate Park, AcroSports Gymnastics and Sports Activity Center works with 2,500 children and teenagers from across the Bay Area every week. They even go in to public schools, helping out with PE classes for schools who can't afford them.

According to the lawsuit filed in San Mateo Superior Court, former AcroSports bookkeeper Valerie Kerr stole more than $200,000 that should have gone to kids.


Read the story and watch the video here.

Virginia Man Reaches Plea Agreement In $2.5 Million Embezzlement From Dave Matthews Band Member

From the Roanoke News on 1/17/14:

A man who admitted to embezzling up to $2.5 million from Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley will serve nine months in federal prison and another nine months in home incarceration under a plea agreement approved Friday in federal court in Charlottesville.

Richmond resident Getty Andrew Rothenberg, 39, a long-time friend of Tinsley’s who served as the rock star’s financial manager, also will pay back $1.25 million to the musician under the agreement.
Rothenberg pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in July.


Read the whole story here.

Hat Tip: FraudTalk reader Joe

Nevada Man Arrested In Fraudulent Warranty Scheme; Alleged To Have Kept $859K In Premiums

From KLAS-TV8 on 1/17/14:

Henderson Police have arrested a man in connection with an scheme that could cost a group of consumers thousands of dollars.

According to police, 51-year-old Robert William Roback, the owner of an extended vehicle warranty company called DriverzEdge, failed to pass payments made by consumers for extended warranties for their vehicles to the insurance company.

Police say extended warranties purchased through Roback's company from August through October were not forwarded to Assurant Service Protection, which left consumers without the coverage they thought they had purchased.


Read the whole story here.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Jersey Mother-Son Duo Arrested For Allegedly Embezzling $480K

From WPVI Channel 6 on 1/17/14:

Evesham Police have arrested a mother and son who embezzled almost a half a million dollars from a printing company.
59-year-old BettyAnn Peard and her 29-year-old son Steven Peard were arrested Thursday after a month long investigation by the Evesham Police and Burlington County Prosecutors Office.
The investigation determined that Steven Peard issued himself over hundred fraudulent checks and his mother altered the accounting registry in an effort to conceal the thefts.

The pair is accused of stealing over $480,000.00 during a 10 month period.


Read the story and watch the video here.

Wisconsin Man Will Get Only 90 Days For Embezzling $117K From Kohler Company To Pay For Hookers & Vegas Junkets

From the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal on 1/17/14:

Kirk C. Riddle
Kirk C. Riddle
A former Kohler Co. employee charged with embezzling $117,000 for escort services and stealing two of the company's $6,000 toilets for his home was sentenced Friday to 90 days in jail and three years' probation.
At the hearing, where a fuller portrait of a defendant and his crimes often emerges, Kirk Riddle only apologized to the court and thanked Kohler Co.


Riddle, 47, told a company investigator he had used the money to buy escort services in Las Vegas, as well as fly women from Vegas to Milwaukee. Some spent time at Kohler's posh American Club.


Read the full story here.

Ohio Man Sentenced For Embezzling $442K From Financial Clients

From the Canton Rep on 1/17/14:

A former financial adviser from Jackson Township was sentenced to more than three years in prison for embezzling $442,072 from four clients.
David L. Cheviron, 61, was sentenced Friday to 38 months in prison by Judge Donald C. Nugent in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.
The judge also ordered Cheviron to pay $442,072 to the victims and $85,616 to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a news release from Steven M. Dettelbach, U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Cheviron was a financial consultant at FirstMerit Bank, Huntington Bank, and JP Morgan Chase Bank between 2006 and 2010, during which time he embezzled the money from clients for his own use and defrauded the banks, according to a news release.

Read the whole story here.

Maryland Woman Pleads Guilty In $3.6 Million Embezzlement

From the Washington Post on 1/17/14:

A woman who prosecutors say financed a lavish lifestyle by embezzling $3.6 million from her employer has pleaded guilty to a federal mail fraud charge.

Fifty-one-year-old Pamela J. Beard of Bowie, Md., entered the plea Friday in federal court in Washington. As part of a plea deal, she faces a maximum of 51 months and prison and must pay $3.6 million in criminal forfeiture and restitution at sentencing May 8.
According to government evidence, Beard was office manager at the Office of Orthopaedic Medicine & Surgery in Washington. Prosecutors say Beard generated corporate checks and deposited them to accounts she controlled.


Read the full article here.

Fugutive Suspect In $900K Winery Embezzlement Apprehended In Mexico After 7 Month Manhunt

From the Napa Press Democrat on 1/17/14:
Martin Christopher Edwards, the former Napa wine executive wanted on suspicion of embezzling $900,000 from his ex-employer, has been found in Mexico seven months after he disappeared from Wine Country, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

Edwards, 48, was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 30, 2013 and charged with 23 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. He was scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco on June 17 but never showed up.


Read the full article here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Oklahoma Woman Sentenced To 2 Years For Embezzling $227K

From KFOR Channel 4 on 1/16/14:

According to officials, 53-year-old Pamerla D. Mills was sentenced today to serve 24 months in federal prison for embezzlement from her employer.

In addition, Mills was ordered to pay $227,015.07 in restitution to her former employer.

According to court records, Mills was employed by Gerald Welding Fabrication and Construction Company for approximately six years and was responsible for handling the accounts payable and receivable.


Read the whole article here.

New Mexico Couple Plead Guilty To Embezzling $786K From County Housing Authority

From the Santa Fe New Mexican on 1/16/14:

A federal judge in Albuquerque sentenced the former executive director of the Taos County Housing Authority and her husband to prison terms of more than two years Thursday in connection with a long-running embezzlement scheme.

Carmella and Paul Martínez pleaded guilty in August 2013 to conspiracy to commit theft from programs receiving federal funds after they stole more than $786,000 through the housing authority over a nine-year period.

Carmella Martínez, 42, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. Paul Martínez was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment. They will both serve a two-year term of supervised release following their prison terms. The couple also were ordered to jointly pay $786,014.14 in restitution.

The couple first were indicted on 49 charges in December 2012.


Read the whole article here.

Former State Senator In Rhode Island Convicted Of Embezzling $160K From His Law Clients

From the Boston Globe on 1/16/14:

A Rhode Island jury has convicted former state Sen. Patrick McDonald of embezzlement and conspiracy for stealing more than $160,000 from the real estate closings of his law practice clients.

Jurors found the 49-year-old Saunderstown resident guilty Wednesday after about two hours of deliberations following at week-long trial. A judge ordered him held without bail and set a bail review hearing for Jan. 23.
Read the story here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Colorado Man Accused Of Embezzling More Than $1 Million From Water Utility; Had Prior Convictions For Fraud and Embezzlement

From the McCook Daily Gazette on 1/15/14:

Stunned residents of the McCook area couldn't believe it Monday when word started spreading on the Internet that Terry Malcom has been accused of stealing more than $1 million over the course of a decade from the Cascade Metro and Arabian Acres Metro water districts in Teller County, Colorado.

The report brought shudders and head-shaking because Terry Malcom is the man who bilked Southwest Nebraska residents out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in his years as an attorney in McCook.

As a result of his misdeeds back then, Malcom was sentenced in March of 1998 to serve two to six years in prison for theft by deception and one to three years for second degree forgery. In passing sentence, District Judge John Murphy of North Platte said, "Basically, what it comes down to is how bad has the fabric of society been torn ..."


Read the whole article here.

Hat tip: FraudTalk reader Joe.

Jury Finds Michigan Attorney "Converted" and Embezzled $112K From His Law Firm

From Deadline Detroit Business on 1/14/14:

"Work with our firm to ease your worries," attorney Stuart Sherman says at the website of his Farmington Hills law office.

Currently, the suburban lawyer has worries of his own, as Chad Halcom reports for Crain's.
Sherman could pay more than $335,000 to Troy-based Jacob & Weingarten PC, after jurors found he had committed conversion and embezzlement from the law firm he worked for shortly before his departure a year ago.
Jurors in a week-long civil lawsuit trial before Oakland County Circuit Judge Michael Warren made that finding Monday over a $112,745 check that Sherman, a shareholder and treasurer at the firm until December 2012, wrote to himself. . . . The circuit court jury also found the firm was entitled to treble damages.
The civil judgment isn't a criminal conviction, Crain's notes.


Read the story here.

Fraud, Waste & Abuse Within The Chicago Public School System - IG Report Says; Major Embezzlement Revealed

From The Chicago Bureau on 1/14/14:

The 2013 annual report from the Inspector General for Chicago Public Schools , released earlier this month, revealed a number of stunning cases of funds misuse, fraud and faked school enrollment data, as well as a significant embezzlement scheme from a former high school technology coordinator and numerous counts of alleged theft or improper reimbursement perpetrated by CPS employees.


In a separate finding, the report alleged a former high school technology named Roberto Tirado was found to have embezzled nearly $420,000 from CPS in an elaborate, decade-long fraudulent billing system. Between 2001 and 2011, Tirado allegedly created a number of fictitious vendors and caused a total of $419,748 in payments to those vendors, pocketing much of the money.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Tirado, then 36, resigned in 2011 as the investigation drew nearer. He reportedly withdrew $70,000 from his personal account and told his wife he was going to California to visit one of the vendors, but was found dead in a hotel in Tijuana, Mexico in January 2012. Despite the mysterious context, Inspector General Jim Sullivan said there were no signs of foul play.


Read the whole article here.

More on the Tirado embezzlement story here.

Virginia Man Accused Of Embezzling More Than 1,200 Computers From School System

From the Fairfax Times on 1/14/14:

An Alexandria man who resigned from Fairfax County Public Schools on Friday was arrested Monday and charged with taking school computers and selling them.

Fairfax County Police say Craig Soderberg, 60, of Lady Anne Court in Alexandria, was charged Monday with two counts of embezzlement after a three-month investigation revealed that he was allegedly taking used laptop computers from a warehouse where older FCPS equipment was stored, refurbishing them, and then selling them online.

Police said they removed more than 1,200 computers from Soderberg’s home after a search on Jan. 9.

Soderberg had worked for FCPS for nearly 16 years.


Read the story here.

Missouri Woman Sentenced To 18 Months For Embezzling $115K From Construction Concern

From KSDK Channel 5 on 1/15/14:

A southwest Missouri woman has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison without parole from embezzling nearly $115,000 from her Joplin employer.

The U.S. Attorney's office says 47-year-old Roxanna Sue Rindom was also ordered to repay the money to Neal Construction Group under the sentence she received Tuesday.


Read the whole story here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Virginia Man Sentenced For Embezzling $204K From Local Rescue Squad

From WVVA on 1/14/14:

A former administrator of the Bluefield, Virginia Rescue Squad is sentenced Tuesday in federal court for embezzlement.

Thomas Carroll was sentenced to 45 months in federal prison plus four years of supervised release.

He must also pay more than $204,000 in restitution including nearly $177,000 to the Bluefield Virginia Rescue Squad and more than $14,400 to BB&T bank.

The embezzlement occurred between January of 2008 and June of 2011.


Read the story here.

Hat tip: FraudTalk Reader Joe.

Trial Begins In $1.7 Million Embezzlement Case In Ohio

From the Dayton Daily News on 1/14/14:

Trial began Tuesday for a Moorefield Twp. woman accused of embezzlement involving more than $1.7 million stolen from her Springfield employer over a decade.

Lisa Blevins, 55, of Tacoma Street, is charged with two counts of felony theft and 10 counts of forgery.

Defense attorney Wolodymyr Strileckyj asked for a bench trial, meaning that Visiting Judge William McCracken and not a jury will hear testimony, consider the evidence and render a verdict.

During opening statements, Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Merrell said the state's investigation indicated Blevins stole $1,768,287.93 from her employer, Kreider Corporation, by forging 1,059 checks. She would manually enter the checks into the company's system to match a legitimate business. However, the amounts were not paid to those companies but to herself or one of her accounts.


Read the story here.

Update (2/21/14): Blevins was found guilty of 2 felony theft and 10 forgery charges.  She is scheduled to be sentenced on 3/17/14.  Read the updated story here.

Twisted Tale Of Murder & Embezzlement Stay Restitution Order For North Carolina Health Concern

From the Winston-Salem Journal on 1/13/14:

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center won’t be getting its $114,000 in restitution anytime soon from a Forsyth County man accused of embezzling from the hospital and killing his partner.

Last month, Judge David Hall of Forsyth Superior Court signed an order staying all civil proceedings involving the lawsuit that Baptist filed against Steven Byron Tisdale until Tisdale’s criminal case is resolved.
Tisdale., the former manager of the commercial-insurance collection division for Baptist, is accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from Baptist by cashing 219 refund checks between Jan. 1, 2011, and April 1, 2012. Baptist had to reissue the 219 refund checks.

Tisdale had agreed to pay $114,000 in restitution to the hospital as part of a plea agreement, but he skipped his hearing in February 2013 in Forsyth Superior Court and was later charged with first-degree murder in the death of his partner, Robert Bowie Tisdale. Robert Tisdale’s body was found in the couple’s house in Pfafftown.


Read the story here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ohio Man Charged In $2.5 Million Embezzlement From Credit Union

From WKYC Channel 3 on 1/13/14:

A Concord Township man was charged in federal court for defrauding Cleveland-based Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union out of $2.5 million, said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach and Stephen D. Anthony, Cleveland FBI Special Agent in Charge.

John Struna, 51, was charged in a criminal information with one count of conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement from a credit union.


Read the whole story here.

Update 11/25/2014

An Ohio bookkeeper was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison Tuesday for embezzling nearly $1 million from the failed Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union.

U.S. District Court Judge James Gwin also ordered Vytas Apanavicius of Mentor, an eastern Cleveland suburb, to pay $962,689 in restitution and three years of supervised release after serving his prison term.

Apanavicius pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement in February.
The former bookkeeper, along with five others, including Alex Spirikaitis, Taupa Lithuanian’s former president/CEO, conspired to defraud the credit union from 2007 through 2013.

The fraud case caused a $33.5 million loss to NCUSIF, according to the NCUA Office of Inspector General’s material loss report.


Read the whole update here

Update 12/1/2014:  Spirikaitis is sentenced to 10 years and ordered to pay $15 million in restitution

The CEO at the controls of a $15 million bank fraud conspiracy was sentenced Monday to spend more than 10 years in a federal prison.

U.S. District Judge James Gwin cited Alex Spirikaitis' theft of more than $4 million from the Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union in deciding on a 130-month prison sentence, plus $15 million in restitution. He will receive credit for the 13 months he has spent in federal custody.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Patton said Spirikaitis, 52, spent $100,000 of his stolen money on guns, plus $50,000 on a loge at Cleveland Browns Stadium, and $1.6 million on a home in Solon.
Gwin took special exception to Spirikaitis's plea for less prison time based on the needs of his twin teenage sons with special needs.

"It's a fairly sad day when he uses his children to try to get some benefits for himself," Gwin said. "He was sticking all these credit union customers across the country to finance his extravagance."
Assistant Federal Public Defender Darin Thompson asked for a lighter sentence based on Spirikaitis' substantial assistance to the National Credit Union Administration and its investigators.

"This was Alex's idea" to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and to assist the credit union agency, Thompson said. "He made sincere efforts to undo some of the harm he caused."
Spirikaitis told the judge that prison time was not his worst punishment.

"There is no greater punishment than knowing my family is suffering, and the hurt that I have caused them," Spirikaitis said. "I want to apologize to everyone I have hurt by my actions. I am truly sorry."
According to the charging documents, from 1995 to 2013, Spirikaitis embezzled more than $4 million from the now-defunct credit union located on East 185th Street in Cleveland. He also was personally responsible for causing $15 million in losses at the credit union, which once boasted $24 million in total assets.


Read the whole story here.

Fascinating Tale Of A $3.9 Million Phony Vendor Scheme Victimizing Sara Lee In Forbes

From Forbes on 1/13/14:

Steven Brazile (52) was a company man for over 30 years.  He started working at a commercial bakery that was part of the Anheuser-Busch conglomerate of companies, which was later acquired by Sara Lee in 2001 (now called Hillshire Brands HSH +0.5%).  His dedication paid off as he worked his way up to a role that handled IT contracts for hardware and professional services for Sara Lee.  However, as time went on he grew frustrated that his career had plateaued, felt harassed at work and then he took matters into his own hands.  That payback would land him in prison.


Read the whole article here.

Michigan Man Sentenced To Minimum 40 Months For $260K Embezzlement From Funeral Home

From WILX Channel 10 on 1/12/14:

A former member of the St. Johns City Commission and prominent member of the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce is sentenced to prison time for embezzlement. David Hudgens was given a 3 1/3 to 20 years sentence Monday morning in Clinton County Circuit Court. Hudgens pleaded guilty last November to embezzling over $260,000 from his employer, Osgood Funeral Home in St. Johns, over a six year period.


Read the whole story here.

Hat tip: FraudTalk reader Joe.

Montana Woman To Get Probation For Her Role In $195K Embezzlement Conspiracy Of Federal Funds Indended To Support Troubled Youth On Reservation

From the Associated Press on 1/12/14:

Prosecutors are recommending no prison time for a Blackfeet woman who pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to defraud and embezzle from a federally funded program for troubled youth on the northwestern Montana Indian reservation.

Charlotte New Breast is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday (Jan. 16) by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris on a charge of aiding and abetting theft from an organization receiving federal grant funds.
New Breast, 53, was the administrative assistant for the now-defunct Po'Ka Project, which collected $9.3 million in federal support from 2005 to 2011.
Project leaders and consultants are accused of stealing an estimated $195,000 from the program and making up or embellishing the tribe's in-kind contributions to ensure the federal money kept flowing.
Five other defendants, including project leaders Francis Onstad and Delyle "Shanny" Augare, have pleaded not guilty to a total of 37 criminal counts.
Read the whole story here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Former Controller Charged With Embezzling $4 Million From Nebraska Company; Blames Gambling Habit

From: KETV on 1/10/14:

A 54-year-old woman accused of tax fraud in Sarpy County in connection with misappropriating her employer's funds now faces felony charges in Douglas County.

Caroline Richardson was booked on three counts of felony theft early Friday.

Investigators said that while employed as a controller for Colombo Candy and Tobacco Wholesale Company, Richardson misappropriated more than $4 million in company funds.


Read the whole story and watch the video here.

Update (1/14/14): Richardson was sentenced five years in prison for three counts of income tax evasion.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wisconsin Woman Sentenced For Embezzling $421K To Pay For Internet Scam She Fell Prey To

From the Wausau Daily Herald on 1/10/14:

A Merrill woman who stole $421,800 from her employer while she herself was being scammed in an internet scheme was sentenced in federal court Friday to one year and one day in prison and ordered to pay back the stolen money.

Lonely and vulnerable after her husband died of brain cancer in 2011, Amy J. Rajek, 37, turned to an internet dating website and began sending money to a con artist posing as a U.S. serviceman deployed in Afghanistan.

Rajek thought she was sending the man money to cover custom fees on packages he was sending home that would purportedly contain gold. The scheme only drained her funds, according to her attorney, Keith Ellison of Wausau.

Rajek, an accountant at G3 Industries in Mosinee, then began embezzling from the firm by forging company checks and using wire transfers to deposit funds in her bank account.


Read the whole story here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Former Insurance Administrator In New Jersey Sentenced To 7 Years For Embezzling Nearly $500K From Health Trust Fund

From on 1/10/14:

A 48-year-old Metuchen woman who worked as a third-party insurance administrator has been sentenced to seven years in state prison after being convicted of stealing nearly $500,000 from a trust fund for health insurance policies and prescriptions for hundreds of employees and their families.

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a news release that Catarina Young, the primary owner and operator of a third-party insurance administrator, was sentenced Thursday to seven years in state prison by Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves, sitting in New Brunswick.

Read the whole story here.

Hat tip: FraudTalk reader Joe.

Former Finance Head Of Louisiana Health Concern Indicted For Allegedly Embezzling $207K

From the Associated Press on 1/10/14:

Jefferson Community Health Care Center's former finance chief who investigators say transferred more than $207,000 in clinic funds to her personal bank account has been indicted on federal wire fraud and obstruction charges.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite's office says 33-year-old Ebony Williams White, of Katy, Texas, faces seven counts of wire fraud and one count of obstruction.

The obstruction charge stems from White allegedly fabricating a document that suggested she was owed $137,000 plus bonuses for work in addition to her CFO duties.


Read the whole story here.

St. Louis County Investigating Possible $3 Million Vendor Fraud Scheme Involving Health Official Who Committed Suicide

From the Webster-Kirkwood Times on 1/10/14:

St. Louis County is looking to hire an independent audit firm to determine how a high-ranking health department official lined his company's pockets with more than $3 million for several years before anyone noticed.

Webster Groves resident Edward Mueth, 39, who was the director of administration for the St. Louis County Health Department, killed himself in September after county officials discovered his company had overcharged the department for goods and services.

Mueth had been billing the county, approving invoices and filling out evaluations for his self-created company, Gateway Technical Solutions, for six years.


Read the whole story here.

Former Nursing Home Bookkeeper In Wisconsin Accused Of Embezzling More Than $850K In "Complex" Scheme

From the Wisconsin State Journal on 1/9/14:

The Belleville woman accused of stealing more than $850,000 from a New Glarus nursing home used a scheme so sophisticated that annual audits didn’t catch it, and a forensic accountant who was hired to find it almost missed it, the nursing home’s director said.

Joyce Ziehli, 55, was charged Tuesday with six felony counts of theft in a business setting over $10,000 by the Green County district attorney. According to a criminal complaint, she stole the money from New Glarus Home Inc. over a 10-year period. Police said she used the money to support a music magazine she published with her husband.


Read the whole story here.

Wisconsin Woman Sentenced To 2 Years For Embezzling $660K From Family Business

From WSAU on 1/10/14:

A 46 year old former Woodruff­ area woman has been sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to repay nearly three­quarters of a million dollars in restitution and fines. She had entered guilty pleas to embezzling the money over several years from the family business where she worked.

Lisa Saykally admitted to stealing $660,000 from Aqualand Manufacturing in Woodruff over 8 years. With tax ­related fines added in, the amount for repayment is $727,000.

Prosecutor Jodie Bednar­ Clemens said Saykally destroyed the family trust by using the money for a lavish lifestyle. ...

Read the whole story here.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Oklahoma Woman Sentenced To 33 Months For Embezzling Nearly $850K From Bank ATMs

From the Associated Press on 1/8/14:

A Lawton woman has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars that should have been replenished in ATMs, a federal prosecutor announced.

U.S. Attorney Sanford Coats said Maria Estelle Martin, 48, worked as an armed security guard for a company that serviced ATMs in the Lawton area. Coats said Martin's duties included replenishing ATMs with cash from financial institutions' vaults.

Martin pleaded guilty last year to one count of embezzling money from a credit institution. She had faced a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, but was sentenced Tuesday to 33 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $847,942.50 in restitution.
"Martin gambled away the stolen money through frequent visits to Lawton-area Indian casinos, where she would sometimes put over $70,000 into a single slot machine," Coats said in a news release.


Read the whole story here.

Two Finance Execs Indicted For Allegedly Embezzling More Than $4 Million From Texas Municipal School District

From the Houston Chronicle on 1/8/14:

Beaumont Independent School District's director of finance and comptroller were named in an 19-count indictment on Wednesday.

Devin Wayne McCraney, 35, and Sharika Baksh Allison, 43, of Beaumont, have been charged by a federal grand jury with conspiracy and 18 counts of fraud.

In 2010, McCraney, the director of finance, and Allison, comptroller, are suspected of devising schemes in which they embezzled $4 million from BISD using 18 wire transfers to bank accounts in their personal control.

Read the whole story here.

Read the indictment here.

Texas Man Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $500K+ From State School Board Association

From the Associated Press on 1/8/14:

The former workers' compensation claims chief for the Texas Association of School Boards admits to stealing more than $500,000 from the group's insurance fund.

Federal prosecutors say Herman G. Wilks pleaded guilty Wednesday in Austin to 10 mail fraud counts. He admitted stealing the money from the association's risk management fund. That fund provides coverage for member school board unemployment and workers' compensation claims, along with auto, liability and property claims.

Wilks could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for each of the 10 counts. No sentencing date has been set, but Wilks remains free on bond until then.

Former Bank Teller in Tennessee Pleads Guilty To Embezzling 264K

From the Lebanon Democrat on 1/8/14:

Kaley Gregory, 29, of Gallatin, Tennessee, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of bank embezzlement, announced David Rivera, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

At the plea hearing, Gregory admitted that from 2009 until May 2013, while employed as the head teller of the Gallatin branch of Volunteer State Bank, she embezzled more than $264,000 from the bank and converted this cash to her own use.


Read the whole story here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

University Embezzlement Epidemic Continued: Former CIO At Fairmont State U In West Virginia Pleads Guilty In $650K Scheme

From WJAR on 1/8/14:

A former vice president at Fairmont State University will be sentenced later this year for using his state-issued purchasing card to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from Fairmont State for his personal use.

David Tamm, 45, of Parkersburg, plead guilty to embezzlement and filing a false tax return in Clarksburg Federal Court on Wednesday morning.

“It’s alleged that he purchased hundreds of computer switches with his state purchasing card and then sold them for cash,” said Bill Ihlenfeld, the U.S. Attorney for West Virginia’s Northern District.

Tamm, Fairmont State’s former chief information officer, admitted that, from Oct. 2007 until Jan. 2013, he stole money from Fairmont State and, in 2012, filed a false tax return by underreporting his salary.


Read the whole story here.

More Embezzlement In Vermont: Fomer UVM Employee Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $165K Over 8 Year Period

From the Burlington Free Press on 1/8/14:

A former University of Vermont employee has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge of embezzlement — a case that began, officials said, with the receipt 18 months ago of an anonymous letter.

Jody Farnham, a UVM employee who provided administrative support to the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, embezzled at least $185,000 during a six-year period ending in late 2012, according to a charging document on file at U.S. District Court in Burlington. She is accused of having done so by altering tuition checks from enrollees in the cheesemaking program to make herself a co-payee, the document alleges, and then depositing the checks in her own bank account.


Read the whole story here.

Former Bookkeeper At Sheriffs Office In Nevada Charged With Embezzling At Least $100K

From the Carson City News on 1/7/14:

A former Carson City Sheriff's Office accountant faces eight felony charges of embezzlement after allegedly stealing at least $100,000 of bail and search and seizure money over several years.

Laura Wissert, 44, is expected to turn herself into Carson City Jail today after an arrest warrant was issued by a judge. Her bail is set at $20,000. She has retained Noel Waters as her attorney, said Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong.


Read the whole story here.

Maryland Woman Pleads Guilty In $357K Bank Fraud Scheme

From WBOC Channel 16 on 1/7/14:

Authorities say a Cambridge, Md., woman on Tuesday pleaded guilty to bank fraud in connection with a scheme in which she and her brother fraudulently obtained mortgage loans in the names of family members, using the proceeds for their own benefit.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to her plea agreement, 59-year-old Jill Dail was a loan settlement processor in the mortgage department at a Salisbury, Md., bank....

Read the whole story here.

Former Controller Of Municipal Housing Agency In Alabama Charged With Embezzling More Than $150K

From WAFF Channel 48 on 1/7/14:

Police arrested the former comptroller for the Boaz Housing Authority on Monday. Stanley J. Knop was arrested after an audit revealed misappropriation of funds over $150,000.


Read the whole story here.

Hat tip: FraudTalk reader Joe.

Virginia Woman Pleads Guilty In $7 Million Credit Union Fraud Case

From the Lynchburg News & Advance on 1/7/14:

A former head teller of the defunct Lynrocten Federal Credit Union pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Tuesday to an embezzlement charge that prosecutors say contributed to the financial institution’s collapse in the spring of 2013.

Teresa Wieringo Humphries, 58, of Madison Heights, admitted to embezzling more than $1 million from the Lynchburg-based credit union, which closed in May, U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said in a news release.

Humphries had created fraudulent loans and perpetrated check-kiting schemes for more than a decade, Heaphy said. While Humphries stole more than $1 million, he said the total loss to the credit union was more than $7 million.


Read the whole story here.

Michigan Woman Sentenced To 3 Years For Embezzling More Than $300K

From the Gladwin Record & Clarion on 1/7/14:

The Houghton Lake woman who pleaded guilty to one count of Embezzlement-$100,000 Or More was sentenced to three years in prison Monday in 55th Circuit Court by Judge Roy Mienk.

Heather Lynn Peer, 38, reportedly embezzled the money from Earls Building Supply, where she was an employee.


Read the whole story here.

North Carolina Woman Charged With Embezzling $212K From Local Business

From the Mount Airy News on 1/7/14:

The former office manager of Mount Airy Vision Center has been charged with two counts of embezzlement and six counts of obtaining property for false pretense, involving a loss of at least $212,322, city police say.

Rene Boyles Bowman, 49, now resides in Statesville, but is said to have lived in Mount Airy at the time of the alleged wrongdoing. She turned herself in Monday at the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office on the eight local felony charges that capped an investigation lasting nearly a year.


Read the whole story here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Former Chicago Schools Employee Found Dead Now Accused Of Embezzling $420K

From the Chicago Tribune on 1/6/14:

A technology coordinator at a North Side high school embezzled nearly $420,000 from Chicago Public Schools in an elaborate, decadelong fraudulent billing scheme, according to an investigation highlighted in the district inspector general's annual report.

The suspect, Roberto Tirado of Lake View High School, resigned as the investigation was underway and in January 2012 was found dead in a hotel in Tijuana, Mexico, according to Inspector General Jim Sullivan, whose report was released Friday.

The investigation found that from 2001 to 2011, Tirado lined up nine former classmates and students to pose as CPS vendors. He then had checks issued to them from the district delivered to a post office box he opened in Evanston, according to Sullivan's report.

Read the whole story here.

Former CFO Of New York Company Charged With Embezzling $5.7 Million

From the White Plains Daily Voice on 1/7/14:

A federal grand jury in White Plains indicted Gregg Pierleoni with mail and wire fraud in connection with the  embezzlement of $5.7 million from his former Larchmont employer, according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Pierleoni, of New Fairfield, Conn., was accused of moving funds from Collins Brothers Moving Company's operating account to other accounts. He then allegedly wrote checks from those accounts to pay his personal American Express bills, according to Bharara.

Read the whole story here.

Ohio Man Charged With Embezzling $1.8 Million From Credit Union

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer on 1/6/14:

Federal embezzlement charges were filed today against a Lakewood man accused of stealing more $1.8 million from a Euclid credit union.

William Memmer, 63, used the stolen funds to pay bills he incurred on about 15 personal credit cards, according to U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach.

Memmer was charged in a criminal information with embezzlement and for making false entries in credit union records and reports. Informations are usually used when the suspect is cooperating with the FBI and federal prosecutors, and intends to plead guilty to the charges.

Read the whole story here.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Woman Sentenced To 15 Years For Embezzling $100K From Washington College In Maryland

From Kent County News on 1/1/14:

Pointing to what he portrayed as a “mountain of evidence,” Judge Paul M. Bowman sentenced a former Washington College Dining Services employee to 15 years in prison for conducting a theft scheme of more than $100,000. The judge suspended eight years, meaning that Wendy Sue Marker will serve seven years of active incarceration.

Read the whole story here.

Fugitive Georgia Banker Accused Of Embezzling $21 Million Is Arrested

From the Savannah Morning News on 12/31/13:

A Georgia banker accused of embezzling more than $20 million who has been the subject of an FBI search since he went missing last summer was arrested Tuesday during a random traffic stop in Brunswick.

Aubrey Lee Price, 47, originally from Lyons, was indicted in July 2012 by a federal grand jury sitting in the Southern District of Georgia on a charge that he defrauded the Montgomery Bank & Trust in Ailey of more $21 million.

Read the whole story here.

Update (10/28/4):

A former Georgia investment adviser was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday for committing fraud that fueled a bank's collapse, cost investors millions of dollars and turned the accused banker into a fugitive who was ultimately - and mistakenly - declared dead.

Aubrey Lee Price, 48, returned to U.S. District Court for sentencing after he pleaded guilty in June to bank, wire and securities fraud. Price lost much of the $40 million he raised from about 115 clients at his private investment firm. Prosecutors say he also misspent, embezzled and lost $21 million belonging to the Montgomery Bank & Trust in rural southeast Georgia, where Price served as bank director.

Price vanished in June 2012, a few weeks before the bank closed with its assets and reserves depleted, and he left rambling letters saying he planned to jump off a ferryboat. In December 2013, a year after a Florida judge declared him dead at his wife's request, Price was captured in a routine traffic stop near Brunswick on the Georgia coast.

Price cut a plea deal with prosecutors that called for a maximum of 30 years in prison in exchange for his guilty pleas to three fraud counts. Price also agreed to pay tens of millions in restitution for bank and investor money that he lost, despite having convinced the court to appoint him a lawyer because he had no money to hire one.

Price gave a rambling speech in front of the judge in which he acknowledged responsibility but also blamed other managers at the bank for its collapse. Still, he pledged to help recoup the money, and officials say he is cooperating with their efforts to collect restitution.

"These clients that are here today, and those who are not here, it's important for them to understand I'm trying my best to help them get their money back," Price said in court.

Michael Smith invested $894,000 of his retirement savings with Price, and all of it was lost. He was not optimistic he would have any of it returned.

"I don't think we'll ever see a dime, but I think it's appropriate," Smith said of the sentence.
At his plea hearing June 5, Price told the judge he lied to clients and gave them phony financial statements to cover his tracks as he lost their money in speculative trading and other high-risk investments.

He said his flight from the financial mess left him depressed. He said he tried smoking marijuana and methamphetamine and cocaine, but mostly self-medicated with the prescription amphetamine Adderall. Price said he also adopted at least five aliases, including Jason Rollins and Javier Martinez.
He worked odd jobs and performed migrant labor, according to accounts he gave authorities when he was arrested. Florida investigators suspect he also may have been growing marijuana.

The plea agreement settled federal charges pending against Price in Georgia and New York. Prosecutors agreed to drop 16 related bank fraud counts in Georgia plus charges in Miami related to the Coast Guard's search for Price.

A federal receiver appointed to recoup money for Price's investors reported July 30 that about $3.3 million had been collected. But that includes $1.8 million in life insurance payments made after Price was declared dead. Insurance companies have gone to court seeking to take that money back.