Thursday, January 19, 2017

Former Business Manager Admits He Embezzled More Than $6.5 Million From Clients, Including $4.8 Million From Alanis Morissette

From Deadline Hollywood on 1/18/17:

Jonathan Todd Schwartz, an entertainment and sports manager, admitted in court papers today that he embezzled more than $6.5 million from his clients – including $4.8 million from singer Alanis Morissette.
Schwartz, a former partner at GSO Business Management in Sherman Oaks, CA, admitted in a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office that he took clients’ money for himself and falsified account records to conceal the embezzlement of client funds. He’s been charged with wire fraud and subscribing to a false tax return for failing to disclose the embezzled funds to the Internal Revenue Service.
Besides the money he embezzled from Morissette, who sued him last year for stealing more than $4 million from her, he also admitted in his plea agreement that he embezzled more than $1 million from another unnamed client and concealed the embezzlement by falsely coding the unauthorized cash withdrawals as money used for the client’s home renovations. He also admitted that that he embezzled $737,500 from yet another unnamed client and forged that client’s signature on at least two cash receipts.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Economic Forecasts Suggest Business Opportunities - But Risks Persist

Read our article, Economic Forecasts Suggest Business Opportunities Ahead – But Persistent Risks in 2017 and Beyond Require Vigilance.  Optimistic outlook for 2017 and beyond will spark corporate, institutional and individual investment opportunities as well as increased M&A activity.  However, global risks persist and should be monitored and mitigated. 

Read the whole white paper here

Monday, January 9, 2017

Federal Authorities Investigating Possible $2.6 Million Embezzlement In Oklahoma

From the High Plains / Midwest Journal on 1/8/17:

The Oklahoma Beef Council has confirmed that federal authorities are investigating a possible $2.5 million embezzlement by a now former employee of the Council. Harvest Public Media, a collaboration by public radio stations in several High Plains states, broke the news on Jan. 5.
A statement by Heather Buckmaster, chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Beef Council, reads that results on an internal investigation into potential wrongdoing has been turned over to federal authorities in Oklahoma. “Due to an ongoing criminal case and civil matters, we are limited in the details we can share,” Buckmaster said in the statement.
 She did point out how the alleged crime was discovered. “When initial evidence was discovered, we immediately terminated the employee and hired an accounting firm to perform an extensive forensic analysis and assessment, which documented $2.6 million in employee theft between 2009-2016.  The Oklahoma Beef Council provided this information to Federal authorities in September to ensure swift action could be taken. Our goal throughout this process has been to speed recovery and restitution to the greatest extent possible. The board of directors and staff have cooperated fully with Federal authorities as the investigation has moved forward.”

Read the whole story here.

Friday, January 6, 2017

California Man, 2 Other former Tribal Officials, Charged In $6 Million Embezzlement Of Tribal Funds

From the Sacramento Bee on 1/5/17:

Three former officials of the tribe that owns the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning were indicted Thursday on charges they embezzled at least $6 million from the tribal coffers and used the money to purchase cars, international junkets, gold coins and landscaping for their homes with such features as koi ponds and a putting green.
The 69-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Sacramento alleges that John Crosby, the tribe’s onetime economic development director; Ines Crosby, his mother and the former tribal administrator; and Leslie Lohse, Ines Crosby’s sister and the former tribal treasurer, engaged in a sweeping conspiracy to loot the tribal bank accounts, then lied to FBI agents investigating the matter.
The indictment follows years of controversy involving the tribal government and the casino. Warring factions in the tribe at various times engaged in an armed standoff outside the casino, went to court over control of the casino and endured a cyberattack that destroyed computer records – one that the indictment blames on the three defendants.
Read the whole story here.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Michigan Woman Sentenced In $2 Million Credit Union Embezzlement Case

From the Detroit Free Press on 1/4/17:

She gambled, bought a Mercedes and big motor home, took luxury vacations.
Now, a Westland woman convicted of stealing millions from a veterans credit union she ran will have up to 20 years in prison to ponder her actions.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who called the crime "despicable," announced Thursday that Fuataina Afutiti of Westland has been sentenced to a minimum of 2½ years and up to 20 years in prison for stealing nearly $2 million from the Veterans Health Administration Credit Union, although defense attorneys said she is likely to serve the minimum term,
Afutiti not only took advantage of her position as president and CEO of the credit union, she "took advantage of military veterans, many of whom were disabled or on a fixed income,” Schuette said.
“Individuals who served and sacrificed for this country deserve the utmost respect, but instead the members of the credit union were victimized. I am pleased to see this verdict," he said in a news release.
Afutiti, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of receiving proceeds from a continuing criminal enterprise and one count of embezzlement from a credit union, according to the release. She was sentenced Dec. 29 before Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner.

Read the whole story here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Upstate New York Woman Charged With Embezzling $1 Million+ From Automotive Firm

From WKBW Buffalo on 1/3/17:
An East Aurora woman stands accused of stealing more than $1 million dollars over the past five years from Towne Automotive in Orchard Park.
Police say Billie Becker, 55, had been using company funds to pay for personal accounts since at least 2012. She had worked for Towne since 2001, serving as controller for the past eight years.
According to detectives, the company became aware of the theft when a credit card company called to ask about a credit card the company was not aware of.
Read the whole story here.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Maryland Woman Indicted On Embezzlement & Fraud Charges In $1.8 Million Theft From Bank

From the Perry Hall Patch on 12/31/2016:

A Nottingham woman was indicted on federal charges of embezzlement and fraud. Melissa Strohman, 54, former senior vice president of a Maryland bank, is accused of stealing more than $1.8 million by making unauthorized transfers and withdrawals from customers' accounts, according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.
From April 2010 to July 2016, Strohman allegedly took money from six customers at the federal savings bank where she worked to pay for her and her family's mortgages, credit cards and property taxes, the U.S. Attorney reported. Two of the victims were deceased and three of the clients were more than 80 years old.

Read the whole story here.