Thursday, January 14, 2016

Office Manager of Georgia Medical Concern Indicted on Charges She Embezzled $1.2 million

From The Telegraph of Macon on 1/13/2015:

The former office manager of a Warner Robins surgical practice was indicted Wednesday on charges that she embezzled more than $1.2 million from her former employer.

Maria Elizabeth Trenam is accused of embezzling the money from Surgical Associates of Warner Robins from March 31, 2011 to Aug. 11, 2015, according to the federal indictment.

As the officer manager, Trenam had access to banking and financial records of the business, could write checks on business accounts and had access to signature stamps of the doctors, according to the indictment. She also had a business credit card and handled the payroll for employees.

"The doctors trusted (Trenam) to the extent that there was little oversight of her activities as the officer manager," the indictment said.
Trenam is accused of using her position to make unauthorized cash withdrawals at ATMs using the business credit card assigned to her, of writing unauthorized checks to herself on business accounts using the signature stamps of the doctors and of increasing her salary without authorization.

Trenam also is accused of using the business credit card to make unauthorized purchases and for travel and entertainment.

The alleged unauthorized purchases with the business credit card ranged from the Apple online store and hotel rentals, including from one in Las Vegas, to purchases at a Kroger in Warner Robins. A $600 cash withdrawal with the business card also was among the alleged transactions outlined in the indictment.

In addition, a forfeiture notice was filed in federal court for any property owned by Trenam that may have been obtained with embezzled money.
She initially was arrested on a charge of fiduciary theft in connection with the embezzlement following an extensive investigation by the Houston County Sheriff's Office. The FBI also became involved because some of the transactions occurred across state lines, said Houston County sheriff's Capt. Jon Holland. The case was later turned over to the U.S. District Attorney's Office.

Read more here:

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2016 Off To A Bang: Massive $20 Million Embezzlement Revealed At Credit Union In Michigan

Only Discovered When Alleged Perp Walks Into Police Station To Confess

From the Detroit News on 1/8/2016:

A Livingston County man known for generous acts of charity is expected to face charges for allegedly embezzling $20 million from an Oakland County credit union.

An official of Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union is jailed after walking into the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and admitting he had looted funds from the facility since 2003, authorities said Thursday.

The man’s story stunned investigators, who said it wasn’t known that any money was missing.

“A man walked into the sheriff’s office Wednesday morning on his own saying he wanted to give himself up because he was responsible for millions of dollars in embezzlement over a 12-year period from the credit union where he worked,” Undersheriff Michael McCabe confirmed Thursday. “We weren’t even aware of this until he came forward.”

The suspect — who is married and has young children — was arrested Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

Investigators from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office executed search warrants at several locations and on accounts linked to the man.

Investigators froze bank accounts of the suspect, who was not named pending formal charges.
A safe, computers and business records were removed from a Livingston County home and were still being examined Thursday as investigators attempt to track down missing funds.

It was not known what prompted the man to turn himself in, and investigators are still trying to determine if anyone else was involved. The scheme involved bogus transactions and investments to mask the taking of funds for the suspect’s own purposes, according to a preliminary investigation.
The scheme all began to unravel during a recent audit at the credit union on Ortonville Road. It remains unclear why the missing funds were overlooked.

The credit union, in operation since 1957, has more than 9,300 members, 15 employees and lists resources of more than $60 million.

A credit union official stressed the personal accounts of members are all safe and whole.

“We are currently conducting an investigation into an possible embezzlement of funds from the credit union by a former employee,” said Donna Bullard, president and CEO of the credit union. “While this investigation is proceeding, we want to assure our members that it is business as usual at the credit union.”

Bullard reminded credit union members that all accounts are insured by the National Credit Union Administration, a federal share insurance agency, for up to $250,000.

“At this time we are unable to comment any further while the investigation is ongoing,” she said. “Members will be updated in the future when more information is available.”

Investigators believe the embezzled funds went to support a lifestyle that exceeded the man’s $65,000 annual salary, including a $1.3 million, 5,800-square foot home. The suspect also started and heavily promoted a private business, one of several he told others he planned to build over the next decade.

The man, who has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, was known locally for his generosity to charity efforts for the needy. He recently was honored by a local chamber of commerce for his community service efforts.