Former Comptroller Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $672,00+ From Employer Over 6 Years – December 23, 2020
Kent Crump admitted that while he was working as the comptroller for Park City Dry Cleaning and Linen Corporation, that he defrauded the business out of $672,081 between 2012 and 2018.
Crump admitted that he carried out the fraud by stealing a large portion of the cash receipts received by the business’ various retail locations each day, and depositing the cash in his and his wife’s personal bank accounts.
Crump used the proceeds of this scheme to purchase a non-financed home in his wife’s name, and prosecutors were able to forfeit the proceeds from the sale of the home on behalf of Park City Dry Cleaning and Linen as a part of the prosecution.
Two Army Reservists Plead Guilty For Involvement In $3 Million Fraud And Money Laundering Scheme – December 23, 2020
From at least in or about February 2018 through at least in or about September 2019, Joseph Asan and Charles Ogozy were members of the U.S. Army Reserves who participated in a scheme to commit fraud against victims across the United States, defraud banks, and launder over $3 million in fraud proceeds in bank accounts that they controlled.
The funds laundered by Asan and Ogozy were obtained primarily through (a) business email compromises, in which members of the scheme gained unauthorized access to or spoofed email accounts and impersonated employees of a company or third parties engaged in business with the company in order to fraudulently induce the victims to transfer money to bank accounts under the control of members of the scheme; and (b) romance scams, in which members of the scheme deluded unsuspecting older women and men into believing they were in a romantic relationship with a fake identity assumed by members of the scheme and used false pretenses to cause the victims to transfer money to bank accounts under the control of members of the scheme, including Asan and Ogozy. Notably, one of the victims of the defendants’ scheme included a U.S. Marine Corps veteran’s organization.
In order to launder over $3 million in proceeds from those fraud schemes, Asan and Ogozy opened several bank accounts in the names of fake businesses called Uxbridge Capital LLC, Renegade Logistics LLC, and Eldadoc Consulting LLC and received fraud proceeds in those bank accounts. Asan and Ogozy then laundered the fraud proceeds to each other and to other co-conspirators based in Nigeria.
Former Billing And Payroll Clerk Sentenced To Prison For $577,000+ Wire Fraud – December 22, 2020
Sheila Verbrugge was the billing and payroll clerk for Blachowske Truck Line, Inc. Verbrugge’s duties included managing the company’s T-Chek account. T-Chek is a system used to pay for various job-related expenses incurred by truck drivers, such as fuel and truck maintenance.
Each week, T-Chek e-mailed an invoice to the company for that week’s charges. The invoices were paid electronically using an automated clearing house (ACH) payment.
Between approximately January 2010 and continuing through April 8, 2020, Verbrugge falsely and fraudulently issued T-Cheks payable to herself, deposited them into her personal account, and then used the money for her own purposes. Verbrugge disguised her theft by altering the weekly T-Chek report; she deleted her name and location and replaced it with names of Blachowske truck drivers and locations she knew to be associated with those truck drivers. Because of the false information entered by her, Blachowske paid the T-Chek invoices.
Verbrugge was ordered by the court to pay restitution in the amount of $577,577.63.
Former Comptroller Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $1.3 Million From Publishing Company Over 5 Years – December 22, 2020
From at least in or around 2015 through in or around 2020, Eric Whitehead used wire transfers and cash deposits from the his employer to benefit himself without authorization from the company.
Whitehead use company assets to pay for personal credit card expenses, overpay personal credit cards to receive cash balance refunds, write checks to cash for deposit into personal bank accounts, and purchase precious metals to sell for his own profit. Whitehead consistently embezzled Company funds from in or around 2015 through in or around 2020, for a total loss amount of approximately $1.3 million.
Former Data Center Engineer Charged In Conspiracy To Steal Employers Computer Equipment And Sell To Businesses – December 21, 2020
Donald Wilson worked for the Chicago company as a data center engineer. From 2015 to 2018, Wilson conspired with Ivan Sierra to steal computer servers, hard drives, and other information technology equipment from the company’s facilities in Chicago and Secaucus, N.J. Sierra then worked to sell the stolen equipment to businesses in Chatsworth, Calif., and Stafford, Texas, for a total of more than $500,000.
Former Philadelphia City Controller’s Office Employee Sentenced To Prison For $20,000 In Bribes And Kickbacks – December 21, 2020
Jeffrey Blackwell, a former City of Philadelphia employee in the Office of the City Controller, committed a series of frauds, accepting more than $20,000 in bribes and kickbacks. Between 2013 and 2015, while serving in the Investigations Division of the Controller’s Office, Blackwell misused his official position to enrich himself by soliciting money in exchange for official actions or the promise of official actions, but rarely provided the promised permits or contracts.
Blackwell solicited bribes from at least five individuals who were seeking permits or contracts from the city.
Former Controller At Oil Company Charged With Trade Secret Theft And Conspiracy Involving Co-Workers – December 18, 2020
Joshua Decker was a controller in an oil and gas company (Victim Company – VC) that serves customers engaged in drilling and production.
In March 2017, while employed as the controller at the company, Decker registered a new company with the Oklahoma Secretary of State, Legacy Valve Systems (LVS). He then recruited co-workers at the VC to join him at LVS
In April and May 2017, Decker conspired to steal numerous trade secrets from the his employer. Decker and others acting at his direction downloaded the technical drawings, material specifications, manufacturing instructions, assembly instructions, and quality assurance procedures from his employer.
Decker transmitted the VC’s detailed financial information, including cost information and sales by product and customer, by email to himself.
Decker then provided the VC’s drawings to an individual who copied them and replaced the company’s logo with a LVS logo to begin manufacturing and selling valves to compete with the VC. Decker then allegedly directed others to delete all their text messages and files, including messages on an encrypted application, to conceal their theft from the VC.
Former Unemployment Office Worker Charged With Scheme To Steal Pandemic Unemployment Aid With Help Of Boyfriend In Prison – December 18, 2020
A former contract employee with California’s Employment Development Department (EDD), which administers the state’s unemployment insurance program, was charged in federal court today with fraud and identity theft in connection with a scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in pandemic unemployment aid.
Nyika Gomez conspired with her boyfriend, a prisoner serving a term of 94 years to life at California State Prison for murder, to submit fraudulent pandemic unemployment insurance claims for California state prisoners and out-of-state residents whose identifying information was stolen.
In July 2020, Gomez was employed by an EDD contractor as a Call Center Agent where she helped individuals process their unemployment insurance claims.
Gomez submitted fraudulent unemployment insurance claims using personal identifying information (PII) she acquired from California prisoners, with help from her inmate boyfriend. With his help, she was also able to purchase stolen PII from out-of-state residents, which she used to submit additional fraudulent unemployment claims.
Gomez arranged for the stolen benefits to be paid out in the form of a debit card, to be mailed directly to her residence, or to the residence of someone working with her. Gomez returned some of the proceeds to the prison inmates by transferring money to their prison accounts.
Desjardins Financial Services Data Breach Caused By Employee Using Unauthorized Access To 9.7 Million Customers – December 17, 2020
Desjardins, a financial management firm based in Levis, Quebec, disclosed the data security incident in 2019.
The breach, which spanned two years, was the result of unauthorized and illegal access to data by a malicious employee, says the firm.
The report found that for at least 26 months, an employee was exfiltrating sensitive personal information collected from customers who had purchased or received products offered directly or indirectly by the organization.
Desjardins initially claimed that 2.9 million people were affected, but later revised this figure to 4.2 million. It eventually transpired, however, that 9.7 million were affected.
The Canadian Privacy Commissioner said the incident “was caused by a series of gaps in administrative and technological safeguards”.
A statement reads: “This information was originally stored in two data warehouses to which the malicious employee had limited access. However, other employees, in the course of fulfilling their duties, would regularly copy that information onto a shared drive.
Former Employee Of Non-Profit Healthcare System Sentenced To Prison For $16 Million+ Money Laundering Scheme – December 16, 2020
According to court records, David Rietz defrauded his employer, a nonprofit health-care system based in Colorado, of more than $16 million dollars. Rietz organized a scheme whereby inflated quotes for computer services were submitted through another company owned by a co-conspirator. Rietz approved these quotes, whereby millions in inflated payments were approved before the fraud was discovered. Proceeds went back Rietz and his co-conspirators through a third company, which returned profits to Rietz in the form of payments on fake contracts for goods and services, gold coins, and cashier checks
Rietz’s co-conspirators were previously sentenced.
Former Medical Practice Office Manager Admits To Stealing $840,000+ Over 4 Years – December 16, 2020
Nuno Fernandez was the office manager for a medical practice in North Bergen, New Jersey, where he handled and reconciled reimbursement checks that the practice received from health care benefit programs for medical services it provided. Starting in April 2012, Fernandez began stealing some of the checks by endorsing them in his own name and depositing them into his personal bank account using an application on his mobile telephone. No one at the medical practice authorized Fernandez to deposit the checks into his personal bank account. Fernandez continued to steal checks from the practice until March 2016. In total, Fernandez stole over $840,000.
Former Elementary School Principal Sentenced To Prison For $113,000+ Of Embezzlement – December 16, 2020
The former principal of St. John the Baptist Elementary School in Smithton, Illinois, pleaded guilty in September 2019 to one count of interstate transportation of stolen money.
According to court documents, from March 2017 to November 2019, Roy Monti used his position as the school’s principal to embezzle $113,061.87 from the school’s bank account. He attempted to cover up the thefts by noting purportedly valid expenses on the withdrawal slips, which turned out to be false and fraudulent.
Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Accepting $128,000 In Bribes From Crime Figure – December 15, 2020
Steven Lopez served as a police officer with the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) from April 2016 to November 2020. From August 2019 until November 2020, Lopez received approximately $128,000 in bribes from an individual – named in court documents as “Co-Schemer 1” – seeking to influence Lopez in the performance of his official duties as a police officer.
Lopez admitted that he agreed to prevent or stop law enforcement compliance checks at businesses illegally operating under Co-Schemer 1’s control, law enforcement efforts to shut down those businesses, and law enforcement searches and seizures at those illegally operated businesses.
In August 2020, Lopez accepted $16,000 in bribes from Co-Schemer 1, the plea agreement states. Lopez further admitted that in September 2020 he solicited a bribe payment of at least $5,000 from Co-Schemer 1, who met Lopez – who was on duty and wearing his police uniform – during the late evening of September 14, on the top floor of a parking structure located directly across the street from SAPD headquarters. During this meeting, Lopez accepted Co-Schemer 1’s bribe payment, according to the plea agreement.
Former Bank Employee Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement Of $32,000+ – December 15, 2020
Heather Cooper began working at First Capital Bank of Texas in Amarillo in 2012 as a mortgage loan processor where she met with customers at loan closings and guided them through the mortgage and loan process.
From August 2017 to January 2020, Cooper admitted to making more than 19 fraudulent withdrawals from at least four bank customers accounts. On at least 18 separate occasions, Ms. Cooper signed a withdrawal slip from the bank customer’s account, which she then used to purchase a cashier’s check – each exceeding $1,000 in value. Additionally, Ms. Cooper admitted to making a cash withdrawal from a bank customer’s account by forging the customer’s signature on the withdrawal slip.
Cooper also admitted to using a credit card issued by FirstCapital Bank of Texas for personal expenses including payments to a cell phone company and various restaurants.
In total, Mrs. Cooper caused at least $32,171.00 of losses to the bank and its customers. She now faces up to 30 years in federal prison.