Former Employee Of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) Charged For Stealing $10 Million+ Worth Of HIV Medication – July 6, 2021
From October 2015 through November 2019, Lisa Hoffman who was a procurement officer at the VAMC, who used her authority to order large quantities of HIV prescription medications so that she could steal the excess. After the medications arrived, Hoffman waited until co-workers were out of sight and then removed them from the VAMC.
Marine Corps Official Sentenced To Prison For Taking $100,000 In Bribes For Directing Over $2,000,000 Worth Of Transportation Contracts To Bus Company – July 1, 2021
In 2019 Darrel Fitzpatrick was a senior account manager at a bus brokerage company that provided transportation to the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Reserves. That same year, Fitzpatrick started a competing transportation brokerage company called National Charter Express.
In 2019, Fitzpatrick agreed to pay kickbacks to Erik Martin, a civilian employee of the USMC Reserves, in exchange for Martin directing business to the bus company, and then later, National Charter Express. The conspiracy resulted in at least $2,000,000 in transportation contracts being corruptly awarded to companies associated with Fitzpatrick over six months in 2019. In exchange, Fitzpatrick wired and attempted to wire Martin over $250,000 in bribes in a series of at least four transactions.
Former Chief Financial Officer Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $1.6 Million+ To Pay For $750,000 Of Personal Expenses – July 6, 2021
According to court documents, Christopher Firle was the Chief Financial Officer of a holding company that managed several vehicle dealerships. From January 2016 through September 2019, Firle misappropriated over $1.6 million from the company. He carried out his embezzlement scheme in multiple ways, including by using company credit cards to pay for over $750,000 in personal expenses. The unauthorized charges included tickets to sporting events and purchases at several retail stores, including Bergdorf Goodman, Chanel, Hermès, Nordstrom, and Tiffany & Co. Firle also initiated over 30 unauthorized wire transfers from the company to a family member. Those transfers totaled over $500,000. Additionally, Firle issued over 30 unauthorized company checks to himself that totaled over $165,000, and he withdrew over $50,000 from a company account without authorization. Finally, Firle issued himself excess bonus payments totaling almost $160,000
Former Bank Employee Pleads Guilty To Stealing $1.7 Million Over 13 Years – June 28, 2021
Between August 2008 and January 2021, Gangadi Azim a long-time employee of a New York, New York-based bank stole approximately $1.7 million from her employer. Over the course of approximately 13years, Azim executed approximately 200 improper wire transfers of bank funds to co-conspirators and related companies, who then sent portions of the ill-gotten funds to Azim’s personal bank account.
Former Bookkeeper Charged With Embezzling $820,000 From 2 Employers – June 29, 2021
Stephanie Simontacchi was employed as a bookkeeper and assistant controller with Cavallo Point Lodge, a hotel near Sausalito, Calif., from December 2009 through April 2016.
While employed at Cavallo Point Lodge, Simontacchi had access to her employer’s accounting records and accounting systems. Simontacchi also had signatory authority over Cavallo Point Lodge’s bank accounts which gave her authority to create and sign checks from the hotel’s bank accounts and to pay the hotel’s legitimate payments and obligations.
Simontacchi embezzled funds from her employer by stealing accounts receivable checks that had been sent to Cavallo Point Lodge from third parties and depositing the checks into her personal bank accounts. Simontacchi also embezzled accounts payable checks that were drawn from Cavallo Point Lodge’s bank accounts and made payable to third party vendors. Instead of sending these checks to the intended third parties, Simontacchi allegedly deposited them in her own bank accounts. Simontacchi allegedly embezzled at least $384,363.28 from, or owed to, Cavallo Point Lodge and deposited these stolen funds into her own accounts.
Simontacchi was next employed by Redwood Credit Union from April 2016 through April 2019, during which time she embezzled over $437,000 from the credit union. The financial institution employed Simontacchi as a senior accountant and accounting manager. Simontacchi’s responsibilities included processing voided official checks (also known as cashier’s checks) and communicating with Redwood Credit Union’s official check vendor regarding issues pertaining to the funding and voiding of these checks. Simontacchi also had access to checks intended for and made payable to Redwood Credit Union that were sent to the accounting department for processing, including reimbursement checks from the official check vendor and reimbursement checks from the United States Treasury Department and the State of California.
Simontacchi embezzled some of these checks, as well as official checks that had been returned to Redwood Credit Union by members and were supposed to have been voided, then deposited the checks into her personal bank accounts. She used the embezzled proceeds for personal expenses, including to make a payment towards her home equity line of credit.
2 Former Credit Union Employees (Sisters) Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $1.5 Million Over 6 Years – Forcing Credit Union Out Of Business – June 25, 2021
Brenda Jensen admitted that from at least May 2012 to March 2018, she embezzled money from Consumer Credit Union (CCU) while working there as an employee.
Jensen and at least one other employee, including Jensen’s sister, Janine Keim, embezzled a total of nearly $1.5 million. Jensen, at times the credit union’s head teller, was responsible for all cash and cash counts at CCU during the relevant timeframe. Jensen successfully concealed her crime from auditors and CCU for years by overstating the change fund in the credit union’s general ledger balance and creating fictitious deposits into her personal accounts at CCU. This aspect of the scheme resulted in $922,480.29 in losses. After years of embezzling, the employees developed an internal kiting scheme. The kiting scheme caused CCU an additional $539,000 in losses. CCU’s total cash loss caused the institution to become insolvent, resulting in a forced merger with SAC Federal Credit Union. CCU’s assets had decreased by over a million dollars. This million-dollar decrease was a direct result of Jensen’s criminal activity.
14 Employees / Individuals Charged In $1 Million Kickback Scheme – June 25, 2021
A federal grand jury in returned an indictment charging 14 people in connection to a kickback scheme involving more than $1 million in fraudulent customer refunds.
Kanesha Mercer, Darius Polite, and Rudy Hunt were charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. Mercer, Polite, Hunt as well as Veronica Kilman were indicted for Wire Fraud.
According to court documents, Mercer, Polite, Hunt and Kilman are all former employees of Advanced Call Center Technologies (ACCT) in Junction City, Kansas. ACCT provides support services including processing refunds for AT&T Digital Life home security systems. Mercer, Polite, Hunt, and Kilman are accused of authorizing fraudulent refunds then directing the deposits into the bank accounts of other accomplices who agreed to return a percentage of the money.
Former Employee Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $655,000 From 2 Different Employers – June 25, 2021
Christy Bartholomew was employed as a financial controller for a business located in Slidell, Louisiana, and later worked as an office manager for a company located in Kenner, Louisiana. From 2016 to October of 2019, she embezzled approximately $357,000 from her Slidell employer by several schemes, including unauthorized use of a company credit card. She later did the same thing with her Kenner employer, embezzling approximately $300,000 from November 2019 to February 2020.
Former Bookkeeper Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $419,000+ From Employer- June 24, 2021
In 2013, Michelle Higson began working as a part-time bookkeeper for a Wilmington company. From 2015 until her termination in 2018, Higson stole a series of the company’s checks, made them payable to herself or to her husband, and forged her employer’s signatures. Higson cashed and deposited the checks for her own personal use. To conceal her criminal conduct and avoid detection by the company, Higson falsified entries in the company’s books to make it appear as if the stolen checks had been issued to satisfy payment to actual vendors. In addition, on several occasions, Higson inflated her pay rate and falsified the number of hours she worked, thereby collecting more money than what she actually earned. In total, Higson embezzled over $419,000.
Higson was also sentenced separately for violating her supervised release, which was imposed in a prior case following her September 2017 conviction for a fraudulent scheme.
Former Medical Center Employee Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $556,000 / Used $$$ For Gambling, Trips, Etc. – June 23, 2021
From 2009 to 2015, Michael Ahlers an Administrative Officer stole more than $556,000 from his former employer, the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), as well as from KUMC Research Institute and from KU Endowment. Ahlers abused his position as the administrative officer of the KUMC Occupational Therapy Education Department. While embezzling $526,000
Ahlers spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on personal expenditures:
$87,000 On Gambling
$81,000 On Travel To: Las Vegas, New Orleans, New York, Myrtle Beach and Caribbean cruises
$81,000 In Cash Withdrawals
$36,000 On Golf Memberships / Fees
$36,000 On Sports Tickets
Former Richmond City Employee Pleads Guilty To Fraudulently Diverting $13,000+ Of Social Services Benefits From Deceased Individual – June 23, 2021
According to court documents, De’Nisha Juanita Wilson, 47, was a case worker for the Richmond Department of Social Services, where she assisted with and oversaw needy individuals’ receipt of financial benefits and had access to state and city systems containing beneficiaries’ personal information. In May 2019, one of Wilson’s clients, a young woman who was receiving benefits on behalf of five children, tragically died in a car accident. Following the woman’s death, Wilson accessed the deceased woman’s personal identifying information, caused the issuance of new prepaid benefits cards, and directed those cards to herself.
Wilson then used the prepaid benefits cards issued under the deceased woman’s name for her own purposes. In total, Wilson diverted more than $13,000, spending approximately $8,000 on food, entertainment, and other personal expenses.
Defense Department Linguist Sentenced To Prison For Espionage – June 23, 2021
Mariam Thompson, while in a war zone, gathered and transmitted classified information (To A Lebanese National Located Overseas) regarding active human assets, including their true names. By compromising the identities of these human assets, Thompson placed the lives of the human assets and U.S. military personnel in grave danger.
Thompson worked as a contract linguist at an overseas U.S. military facility where she was entrusted with a Top-Secret government security clearance. Thompson admitted that, beginning in 2017, she started communicating with her unindicted co-conspirator using a video-chat feature on a secure text and voice messaging application. Over time, Thompson developed a romantic interest in her co-conspirator. Thompson learned that the unindicted co-conspirator had a family member who was in the Lebanese Ministry of the Interior and that the unindicted co-conspirator claimed to have received a ring from Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Lebanese Hezbollah.
Former Philadelphia Water Department Employee Charged For Stealing $164,000 Of Assets – June 23, 2021
Thomas Staszak is a former employee of the City of Philadelphia Water Department (PWD).
On multiple occasions from approximately April 2017 through at least November 2018, Staszak accessed the PWD’s computerized inventory control system without authorization, using log-in credentials associated with PWD employees under his supervision at a PWD storeroom. Staszak is then charged with creating false entries in PWD’s electronic records to provide justifications for removing maintenance materials, for example bulk wire, from the storeroom. The Indictment further alleges that the defendant physically took the materials from PWD’s inventory, transported them to local scrap yards, sold the materials, and kept the proceeds. In this fashion, Staszak is alleged to have stolen items valued in excess of approximately $164,000 before he was caught.
Serial Embezzler Pleads Guilty To Charges For Stealing $1.3 Million From 3 Employers / – June 22, 2021
Lisa Hill pleaded guilty to wire fraud and making false statements for embezzling more than $570,000 from two companies that employed her. Hill was previously convicted of stealing more than $800,000 from a third company where she was employed.
According to filed court documents and court proceedings, in 2012, Hill, also known as Lisa Rollins-Hill, was convicted of federal wire fraud after she admitted to stealing more than $800,000 from her then-employer, a motorcycle company headquartered in Kings Mountain, N.C. At the time, Hill was ordered to serve a five-month probationary term, three years of supervised release and to pay $807,506.39 in restitution to the victim company.
US. Postal Service Employee Charged With Stealing $4,000+ Including iPad, SmartWatch, Reebok Shoes, Etc. From Mail – June 21, 2021
According to the indictment, between July and September of 2020, Sa’Shanna Estell a United States Postal Services mail processing associate, knowingly removed from and stole from the mail a $3,870 cashier’s check, 8 gift cards totaling approximately $330, an Apple iPad, a smartwatch, a pair of Reebok shoes, other clothing, two packages of THC edibles and $76 in cash.
In total, Estell is estimated to have stolen $4,594.67.
Former Air Force Employee Pleads Guilty To $2.3 Million+ Bribery And Government Contract Fraud Scheme Over 11 Years – June 17, 2021
Keith Seguin, a former civilian employee at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, admitted to receiving millions of dollars in bribes in connection with a government contract fraud scheme that spanned more than a decade and impacted hundreds of millions of dollars in contract awards.
According to formal charges, the QuantaDyn Corporation, a software engineering company based in Ashburn, Virginia; its owner, David Bolduc; Rubens Lima and Seguin all conspired to secure government contracts. Seguin used his position to steer lucrative contracts and sub-contracts to QuantaDyn for aircraft and close-air-support training simulators. Seguin, who was intimately involved in the government contracting process, leaked confidential competitor proposals to a prime contractor who would then subcontract the work to QuantaDyn. He also leaked confidential government budget information to prime contractors and to QuantaDyn, enabling them to maximize profits at government expense. Seguin admitted to accepting more than $2.3 million in bribes from Bolduc and QuantaDyn from 2007 to 2018.
5 Former Company Managers Of Gas & Electric Company Charged For Taking Bribes From Contractor Over 7 Years To Steer $50 Million Of Contracts – June 17, 2021
Company Managers Allegedly Took Bribes and Kickbacks Worth Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Exchange for Steering of Lucrative Contracts
A criminal complaint was unsealed in Brooklyn charging Devraj Balbir, Ricardo Garcia, Patrick McCrann, Jevan Seepaul and Richard Zavada, managers employed in the facilities department of a New York utility company (Company), with conspiring to violate the Travel Act by accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for steering contracts to certain Long Island-based contractors with whom the Company did business. One contractor (Contractor) secured more than $50 million in facility maintenance contracts from the Company during the time that the Contractor was paying bribes to the defendants.
The illicit payments to the defendants took multiple forms, including cash, purchase of a recreational vehicle, home improvements, landscaping, overseas vacation, and college tuition payments.
Former Employee Of Oil & Gas Company Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $400,000+ From Employer – June 16, 2021
David West carried out two schemes against Petco Petroleum, an Illinois oil and gas company where he was employed for nearly 30 years.
In one scheme, West produced and submitted to Petco Petroleum fraudulent invoices for services that were never rendered, totaling $129,038, which his employer paid in full and West pocketed.
In a second scheme, West hired trucks to haul oil stolen from his employer’s oil leases to a reclaimer who then paid him $266,802 for the oil. Then West charged Petco Petroleum for the transport costs of their own stolen oil.
USPS Mail Carrier Charged For Conspiring To Possess With Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances, Receiving Bribes – June 16, 2021
A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail carrier (Emerson Pavilus) was charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, receiving bribes as a public official, and conspiring to defraud the United States.
From 2015 through June 2020, Pavilus received cash payments from at least two individuals in exchange for helping them to ship controlled substances, including cocaine and marijuana, and other illicit materials through the mail. Among other things, Pavilus provided his conspirators with addresses in Flanders to which parcels could be shipped, intercepted those parcels from the mail stream, and personally delivered those parcels to conspirators at addresses other than those listed on the parcels.
Former Office Manager For Medical Practice Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $500,000+ From Employer Over 13 Years To Pay Mortgage – June 15, 2021
Shirley Ann Taylor was employed at a medical practice from 2006 to 2020 as the office and payroll manager. The year after she was hired, Taylor began stealing from her employer by inflating her own pay and writing unauthorized company checks which she deposited in her own account or used to pay her mortgage.
The company in 2020 hired a new office manager who quickly noted accounting discrepancies amounting to nearly $1.2 million. In her guilty plea, Taylor accepted responsibility for stealing a minimum of $550,000 from the company.
United States Postal Service (USPS) Pleads Guilty To Sealing Over $90,000 In Cash And Stamps From The USPS – June 15, 2021
Between October 2017 and June 2018, Lisa Mesler while employed by the USPS as a Station Manager, stole $63,265.96 from the cash register drawers of sales associates, which she supervised. Mesler stole money on 53 different occasions. Also, on multiple occasions during that time period, the defendant stole stamps. The value of the stamps stolen was $28,265.30.
Former University Financial Advisor Facing Federal Charges For Wire Fraud $6.7 Million Financial Aid Scheme (Over 10 Years – Involving 65 Students) – June 11, 2021
The affidavit alleges that between 2005 and 2021, Randolph Stanley fraudulently obtained federal student aid on behalf of Student Participants, who enrolled in at least eight universities. Student Participants in the Stanley ring allegedly received federal student aid but were not legitimate students as they lacked the intent to earn a degree. As part of the scheme, Student Participants allegedly either allowed their personally identifiable information (PII) to be used on student loan financial forms or their PII was used without their knowledge, making them victims of identity theft.
The affidavit alleges that Student Participants, including Stanley, were awarded tuition, which went directly to the schools. Between 2005 and 2021, at least 65 Student Participants—including Stanley—were allegedly awarded at least $6.7 million in federal student aid, with at least $6.2 million disbursed to Student Participants. Stanley, as the ringleader of the scheme, would allegedly pocket all or some of the student refunds, occasionally sharing refund money with other Student Participants.
According to the criminal complaint, Stanley allegedly paid a portion of the student loan refunds to Africa-based “Writer Participants” whom he directed to complete the coursework for the Student Participants. The role of the Writer Participant was allegedly to complete Student Participants’ coursework, and preserve the appearance of sufficient academic performance, in order to maintain the student’s eligibility for financial aid. As detailed in the affidavit, Writer Participants directly submitted assignments using the Student Participants’ usernames and passwords while falsely claiming to be the Student Participant and/or provided the assignments to Stanley or the Student Participant for submission.
Former Controller At Oil Company Pleads Guilty To Trade Secret Theft And Conspiracy Involving Co-Workers – June 2, 2021
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.