San Jose Shooting By Railway Employee Leaves 9 Dead – Had Made Previous Threats About Killing Employees – May 11, 2021
9 people were killed by a gunman at a Northern California rail. They were shot in two separate buildings before the suspected shooter took his own life. No motive is known for the shooting at this time.
The gunman was identified as Samuel Cassidy, who was a Valley Transportation (VTA) employee.
Cassidy had worked for VTA since at least 2012, first as a mechanic from 2012 to 2014, then as someone who maintained substations. The VTA provides bus, light rail and other transit services throughout Santa Clara County, the largest in the Bay Area and home to Silicon Valley.
His ex-wife said he had talked about killing people at work more than a decade ago. “I never believed him, and it never happened. Until now,” Cecilia Nelms told the Associated Press. She said he used to come home from work resentful and angry over what he perceived as unfair assignments.
In court documents, an ex-girlfriend described Cassidy as volatile and violent, with major mood swings because of bipolar disorder that became worse when he drank heavily. Several times while he was drunk, Cassidy forced himself on her sexually despite her refusals, pinning her arms with his body weight, the woman alleged in a 2009 sworn statement filed after Cassidy had sought a restraining order against her.
Former Veterans Affairs Medical Center Nursing Assistant Sentenced To 7 Consecutive Life Sentences for Murdering 7 Veterans – May 11, 2021
Reta Mays was sentenced to 7 consecutive life sentences, one for each murder, and an additional 240 months for the eight victim. Mays pleaded guilty in July 2020 to 7 counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of the veterans. She pleaded guilty to one count of assault with intent to commit murder involving the death of another veteran.
Mays was employed as a nursing assistant at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (V in Clarksburg, West Virginia. She was working the night shift during the same period of time that the veterans in her care died of hypoglycemia while being treated at the hospital. Nursing assistants at the VAMC are not qualified or authorized to administer any medication to patients, including insulin. Mays would sit one-on-one with patients. She admitted to administering insulin to several patients with the intent to cause their deaths.
This investigation, which began in June 2018, involved more than 300 interviews; the review of thousands of pages of medical records and charts; the review of phone, social media, and computer records; countless hours of consulting with some of the most respected forensic experts and endocrinologists; the exhumation of some of the victims; and the review of hospital staff and visitor records to assess their potential interactions with the victims.
Dunkin’ Donuts Employee Accused Of Throwing Fatal Punch After Customer Allegedly Used Racial Slur – May 11, 2021
A Dunkin’ Donuts employee (Corey Pujols) in Tampa, Florida, was charged with aggravated manslaughter after police say he fatally punched a 77-year-old customer on May 4, who allegedly called him a racial slur.
The man entered the location and reportedly confronted Pujols. He allegedly called Pujols a racial slur, and when Pujols, who is Black, challenged him to say it again, the customer did. It was then the employee allegedly threw the punch. The man fell back and slammed his head, and later die from the injury.
The report, citing investigators, said the customer was annoyed at the service at the location and had been asked to leave.
U.S. Postal Service Employee Admits Dumping Mail, Including Election Ballots Sent To New Jersey Residents – May 27, 2021
A USPS Mail Carrier (Nicholas Beauchene) admitted that on Sept. 28, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2, 2020, he discarded into dumpsters in North Arlington, New Jersey, and West Orange 1,875 pieces of mail that he was assigned to deliver to postal customers in West Orange and Orange, New Jersey. This mail included 627 pieces of first-class mail, 873 pieces of standard class mail, two pieces of certified mail, 99 general election ballots destined for residents in West Orange, and 276 campaign flyers from local candidates for West Orange Town Council and Board of Education. Law enforcement recovered the mail on Oct. 2, 2020, and Oct. 5, 2020, and placed it back into the mail stream for delivery.
Former Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Official Sentenced To Prison For $119,00 Fraud & Embezzlement Scheme Over 7 Years – May 27, 2021
In November 2020, Paul Dignam pleaded guilty to mail fraud and embezzlement from a program receiving federal funds. At the time of the charged offenses, the defendant was a long-time employee of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (“PPR”) Department, serving most recently as the Regional Manager for the South Region. In this position, Dignam oversaw and managed the PPR programs and operations in this section of the city including activities for members of the community, fund-raising, general maintenance and supervision of personnel.
In 2011, Paul Dignam opened a bank account that purported to be for use by a recreation advisory council, a commonly used governance structure in PPR that exists to support local recreation centers and playgrounds by helping to raise funds, develop programs, and maintain play sites. Beginning in 2012 and continuing through 2019, the defendant allegedly misused this bank account by repeatedly writing checks on the account made payable to himself. He helped conceal this fraud by having bank statements mailed to his personal residence and having another individual act as a signatory on the account. The defendant then forged the other individual’s signature on the misappropriated checks and falsely noted in the memo line of the checks that they were “reimbursements” for expenses he incurred by making purchases on behalf of PPR. In sum, Paul Dignam wrote himself approximately 102 checks worth approximately $119,000.
9 Department Of Correction Officers And Employees Charged With Taking Bribes To Smuggle Contraband To Inmates At New York City Jails – May 26, 2021
9 current and former employees and officers of the New York City Department of Correction are charged with taking cash bribes in return for smuggling contraband such as scalpels, razor blades, drugs, alcohol, and cellphones to inmates in New York City area jails.
Former Office Manager Sentenced To Prison For $1 Million+ Embezzlement Scheme Over 7 Years – May 26, 2021
Barbara Levy worked as an office manager at a New Bedford-based company. Between December 2012 and October 2019, Levy forged 1,134 checks to herself from her employer’s bank accounts, totaling $1,058,867, and deposited the funds into her own account or cashed them. Levy hid her scheme by altering monthly bank statements, substituting the names of legitimate purported payees in place of her own name to make it appear as though the checks had been written for a valid purpose. Levy also failed to report the funds she embezzled on her federal income tax returns.
Former Veterans Affairs Employee Sentenced To Prison For Stealing / Selling Veterans’ Personal Information – May 25, 2021
In the fall of 2017, federal agents learned that Phillip Hill, who worked at the North Little Rock Veterans Affairs (VA) VA Medical Center as a Program Analyst, had access to veterans’ and current VA employees’ personal information to include names, dates of birth, and social security numbers.
Hill had contacted another individual and attempted to sell personal identifying information to a buyer for approximately $100,000. Multiple recorded conversations with this individual and Hill were monitored by agents. Throughout one monitored conversation, Hill repeatedly acknowledged the illegality of his conduct. Hill explained that he was offering to sell the personal identifying information for any veteran who had received VA compensation or a pension, visited a VA medical center, or had completed a VA financial assessment. Hill also offered to sell personal identifying information for VA employees, explaining the employees data would be particularly valuable to identity thieves, as it would include personal identifying information and personal account information for employees who were earning over $50,000 a year.
University Professor And Wife Plead Guilty To Using Department Of Energy Grants For Personal Expenses – May 25, 2021
Shaoromh Liu is employed as a professor at the University of Oklahoma Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Liu and Juan Lu (Wife) controlled a company called MicroChem Solutions (MCS). Through MCS, they applied for and received federal grant monies from the Small Business Technology Transfer Program of the Department of Energy. The mission of the grant program was to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.
Liu and Lu spent this grant money on matters unrelated to the purpose of the grant funding, including on personal expenses. Additionally, Liu and Lu made false statements and submitted altered documents to the Department of Energy regarding how they spent grant money.
Former Air Force Employee Pleads Guilty To Stealing $1.1 Million+ In Government Funds For Baby Grand Piano, Loan Payments, Motorcycle, Family Vacations, Etc. – May 19, 2021
From January 2003 to February 2018, Eddy Johnson was a civilian Air Force employee, most recently as a travel coordinator in the Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Legislative Liaison, where he planned congressional travel and reviewed and approved accounting packages submitted by trip escorts, among other duties. Johnson admitted that from March 2014 through September 2017, he used his government-issued travel credit card to obtain more than $1.1 million in cash advances, at least $774,000 of which he diverted to his own personal use.
Johnson frequently deposited the stolen funds into a non-interest bearing account opened in his name at a bank branch in the Pentagon. Employees in the Office of Legislative Liaison were instructed to open such accounts so that they could more easily deposit and withdraw government funds for official use without accruing interest.
After depositing the stolen funds, Johnson wrote checks to himself, which he deposited into his personal bank accounts, and spent the money for his personal benefit, including on living expenses, a baby grand piano, loan payments for a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and family vacations. Johnson also admitted that he provided cash to his family members, including his spouse.
Former Employee Pleads Guilty To Attempting To Steal Aircraft RadarTrade Secrets From Defense Contractor – May 24, 2021
Peter Cariani was employed as a systems engineer by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). On April 7, 2015, without authority to do so, Cariani downloaded tens of thousands of electronic files from SNC’s computer network. The files contained trade secret information related to SNC’s Radar Enhanced Vision System: a unique onboard aircraft radar sensing system that displays digital images of the ground for pilots flying in zero-visibility conditions.
Cariani transferred the files to a personal external hard drive, and later transmitted information derived from the files to others for potential economic benefit. When entering his guilty plea, Cariani admitted that he knowingly downloaded trade secret information from SNC’s network and he knew his actions would harm SNC.
FBI Intelligence Analyst Charged For Illegally Removing Classified Documents From FBI Over 13 Years / Storing Them At Home – May 21, 2021
Kendra Kingsbury improperly removed sensitive government materials, including national defense information and classified documents from June 2004 to Dec. 15, 2017. Kingsbury allegedly retained these materials in her personal residence.
Kingsbury worked as an intelligence analyst for more than 12 years in the Kansas City Division of the FBI, until she was placed on suspension in December 2017. She was assigned to several different FBI squads during that time, including squads that focused on illegal drug trafficking, violent crime, violent gangs, and counterintelligence. Kingsbury, who held a top secret security clearance, had access to national defense and classified information.
According to the indictment, Kingsbury was not authorized to remove and retain these sensitive government materials, nor did she have a need to know most, if not all, of the information contained in those materials. Kingsbury knew the unauthorized removal of classified materials and transportation and storage of those materials in unauthorized locations risked disclosure and transmission of those materials, and therefore could endanger the national security of the United States and the safety of its citizens. She also knew that violating the rules governing the handling of classified information could result in criminal prosecution.
Former Employee Pleads Guilty To For Defrauding His Employer Of $4 Million+ To Buy Condo, RV, Boat, Cars, Trucks – May 20, 2021
Michael Guzman was employed by Company A from March 2008 until the company fired him for his conduct in May 2020. Company A is a large equipment rental company headquartered in Fort Mill, S.C., that rents out on-road and off-road machinery for construction and other purposes. During the relevant timeframe, Guzman worked for Company A as a Fleet Operations Manager, and was responsible for, among other things, the disposal of aged equipment, also known as assets.
Guzman admitted in court he arranged for approximately 398 assets of Company A to be auctioned off through an online auction house that buys and sells used heavy construction equipment, referred to in court document as Company B. To perpetuate the fraud, Guzman represented to Company B that the assets were owned by Guzman’s shell companies, Second Life Equipment LLC and All Seasons Sales and Service, when in fact the majority of the assets were still owned by Company A. In his capacity as a Fleet Operations Manager, Guzman was able to hide the scheme from Company A by manipulating internal company records.
According to court documents, Guzman arranged for the proceeds of the sales to be sent to a bank account that he controlled, and used the fraudulent proceeds to buy a condominium in South Carolina, a plot of land in New York, an RV vehicle, a boat, and multiple cars and trucks.
Former Office Manager Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $393,00 From Employer To Pay Credit Card Debit – May 20, 2021
From at least 2012 through 2016, Stephanie Hafley was the office manager of Medical Care Associates (MCA) in Prattville, Alabama where she was in charge of handling the company’s finances. These duties included paying the office’s bills, making bank deposits of revenue generated by MCA, making entries to the general ledger, preparing the business payroll ledger and making the payment of employment taxes to the Alabama Department of Revenue and the IRS.
In 2015, another individual associated with MCA noticed suspicious activity in some of the office’s financial statements. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the IRS began to investigate and soon developed Hafley as a potential suspect. The investigation ultimately revealed that Hafley wrote checks from MCA’s bank account and deposited them into her personal account. She also wrote checks to cash from one of MCA’s accounts and used MCA funds from another bank to pay her personal credit card debt.
Former Employee Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $796,000+ From Employer – May 20, 2021
Kayla Figelski admitted to stealing at least $796,747 from her employer, a law firm in Malden, by forging checks to herself from her employer’s checking accounts, including conservatorship, trust and estate administration accounts her employer maintained for its elderly clients and their estates. Figelski deposited the checks into her own account, from which she withdrew the funds, or directly cashed the checks.
Former New York City Department of Buildings Inspector Pleads Guilty In $1,200 Bribery Scheme – May 19, 2021
In late July 2020, Francesco Ginestri, who was employed as a New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) Inspector, conducted a re-inspection of a construction site located in Queens that had received a stop work order for safety violations earlier in the month. During the re-inspection, Ginestri learned that construction had continued despite the pendency of the stop work order. Instead of seeking to impose a penalty on the company for violating the stop work order, Ginestri solicited a $1,200 cash bribe in exchange for his agreement to ensure that the DOB would not issue a $25,000 fine to the company. Ginestri resigned from the DOB on February 10, 2021, the day he was arrested.
Former Manager Of Pain Clinic, Her Boyfriend, And Customers Facing Federal Charges For Drug Distribution Conspiracy – May 19, 2021
Monica Clark was employed as the office manager of Memorial Care and was previously the office manager of Washington DC Spine Center. Clark was not a physician and did not have a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number. The criminal complaint alleges that, since Clark was not authorized to prescribe controlled substances, she forged prescriptions for opioids using prescription pads from the clinics’ doctors, then illegally sold the forged opioid prescriptions to opioid users and diverters..
Former Employee Sentenced To Prison For Computer Hack That Shut Down Opening Day Concession Sales At Stadium / Damages $268,000+ – May 19, 2021
Salvatore La Rosa admitted in his guilty plea to intentionally accessing Spectra Food Services and Hospitality’s (Spectra) on-line concessions management account for the Earthquakes Stadium without permission on February 29, 2020.
The Earthquakes Stadium is home to the San Jose Earthquakes, a Major League Soccer team, and their first home game of the 2020 season was February 29, 2020. Spectra, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was the concessions contractor for the stadium, and employees used Spectra’s mobile tablets as their Point-of-Sale terminals to sell food and other concession items. The tablets displayed menus and payment selections from an online-based application developed for sports stadiums.
La Rosa admitted in his plea agreement that he was a former employee of Spectra and worked at the stadium from February 14, 2015, until his termination on January 6, 2020. He admitted that he thereafter logged into the administrative port for the Earthquakes Stadium from his residence and used a password, without authority, to access Spectra’s concession menu and payment selections.
During his unauthorized access, he intentionally deleted Spectra’s concession menu and payment selections. This act caused all of the Point-of-Sale tablets used by Spectra’s staff to stop working. Spectra’s ability to accept credit cards was also disabled. During the soccer match on February 29, 2020, Spectra’s staff had to resort to handwriting orders and using calculators to complete cash transactions, with the resulting delay leading to lost sales and verbal abuse from customers. In some instances, Spectra had to provide free food and beverages to club members because of its inability to process credit card transactions.
According to the charging document filed in the case, Spectra suffered a loss of over $268,000 in damages, consisting of lost revenue, concession discounts offered at the March 7 game, employee time to repair the damage to the data, and labor costs.
Former Senior City Official Sentenced To Prison For $150,000 Fraud And Embezzlement Over 7 Years To Pay For Retail / Grocery Stores, Pharmacies, Gas Stations – May 19, 2021
In November 2020, Leo Dignam pleaded guilty to wire fraud and embezzlement from a program receiving federal funds. At the time of the charged offenses, the defendant was an Assistant Managing Director in the City of Philadelphia Managing Director’s Office and, prior to serving in that position, was a long-time employee of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (“PPR”) Department, having risen through the ranks to serve as the Deputy Commissioner for Programs. In these positions, he oversaw the administration of major events in the city, such as the Philadelphia Marathon, the Broad Street Run and the Mummers Parade. Mr. Dignam worked for the City of Philadelphia for approximately 38 years.
Over the course of several years, from 2012 through 2019, Leo Dignam misused two bank accounts he controlled on behalf of the City that existed to support the work of PPR, namely, recreational activities for citizens. In particular, he opened a bank account purportedly to support the activities of PPR in connection with a non-profit organization, the Junior Baseball Federation (“JBF”). The JBF partnered with the Philadelphia Phillies to raise most of its funds through the sale of tickets for Phillies games. The defendant converted funds from this account to pay for personal expenses he incurred on a credit card associated with the JBF account for purchases from retail stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, online retailers, and service providers. Dignam also admitted to misusing another account that was created for the benefit of PPR and the citizens of Philadelphia, the Program Advisory Fund Account. The defendant used this account to pay personal expenses by transferring funds directly to a personal bank account, and by using it to pay personal expenses on a Verizon wireless account.
Former Human Resources Manager Pleads Guilty To Stealing $69,000+ From Employer Through Payroll And COVID-19 Testing Schemes To Pay For Speedboat – May 18, 2021
Douglas Wold worked as a Human Resources Manager for Fry Foods, Inc.
First, beginning in at least May 2020 and continuing through August 2020, Wold committed wire fraud by submitting fraudulent payroll requests for individuals who never worked at Fry Foods or who no longer worked at Fry Foods at the time of the payroll requests. Payroll checks were processed based on Wold’s requests. Wold then deposited these fraudulent payroll checks into his own bank accounts.
Second, Wold committed mail fraud with respect to a COVID-19 testing program at Fry Foods’ Weiser, Idaho location in May 2020. Wold issued a fraudulent invoice to Fry Foods in the name of his business, Hala Lallo Health, for $39,995 when, in fact, the testing was provided by another entity and at a greatly lower cost. When Fry Foods paid Hala Lallo Health for the testing, Wold deposited the funds into a bank account he controlled and the company that actually provided the testing was not paid.
Wold committed the offense of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity by transferring $69,116.48 in proceeds from his frauds for the purchase a speedboat and trailer.
Former Accounts Manager Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $532,00 + From Employer – May 18, 2021
Tonya Swain embezzled over $500,000 from her former employer, Recycle USA. Swain was employed as the Controller and/or Accounts Manager. She was responsible for ordering, receiving, and disbursing cash for company operations, and for making accounting entries in QuickBooks. On multiple occasions between 2015 and 2017, Swain ordered funds to be delivered via Loomis to Recycle USA. Swain manipulated QuickBooks entries and did not put all the cash in the vault, but instead kept the cash and used it to pay personal expenses.
Accountant Sentenced To Prison For $1.2 Million+ Embezzlement Scheme From Employer For Gambling And Porn – May 18, 2021
In February 2021, Christopher May pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud stemming from this scheme which he perpetrated over the course of about eight months. From roughly October 2019 until May 2020, while employed as a staff accountant at a local e-commerce automotive parts retailer, May made more than 50 unauthorized Paypal transfers of his employer’s funds into his personal accounts. In total, he stole $1,213,500.
May immediately spent nearly this entire amount gambling on sports and making payments to pornographic web camera models whom he met on the internet.
To hide and prolong his fraud, the defendant doctored his employer’s bank statements and created fake financial records. He abruptly resigned from his position in June 2020, after an audit at the company raised questions about discrepancies in these documents.
Doctor’s Employee Admits Role In $24.8 Million Kickback Scheme With 6 Individuals – May 18, 2021
Vicky Ayala conspired with 6 individuals associated with Prime Aid Pharmacy, three of whom were previously charged by superseding indictment: Sam Khaimov, Yana Shtindler, and Ruben Sevumyants. Ayala’s other alleged conspirators included Igor Fleyshmakher, Alex Fleyshmakher and Eddy Shtindler, who previously pleaded guilty in a related kickback conspiracy.
Ayala worked at a doctor’s office in Jersey City and developed a long-standing and illegal kickback relationship with several individuals associated with the Prime Aid Pharmacies – now closed – which operated as “specialty pharmacies” in Union City, New Jersey, and Bronx, New York. As “specialty pharmacies,” they processed expensive medications used to treat various conditions, including Hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Khaimov was a co-owner of Prime Aid Union City and the lead pharmacist of Prime Aid Bronx. Khaimov’s wife, Yana Shtindler, was Prime Aid Union City’s Administrator, and Sevumyants was Prime Aid Union City’s operations manager. Eddy Shtindler, Yana Shtindler’s brother, was a Prime Aid Union City employee. Alex Fleyshmakher worked at Prime Aid Union City and was an on-paper owner of Prime Aid Bronx. His father, Igor Fleyshmakher, was the other co-owner of Prime Aid Union City.
In order to obtain a higher volume of prescriptions from the doctor’s office where Ayala worked, Khaimov, Yana Shtindler, Igor Fleyshmakher, Alex Fleyshmakher, Sevumyants, Eddy Shtindler, and other Prime Aid employees paid Ayala kickbacks and bribes to induce her to steer prescriptions to Prime Aid Union City. From 2008 to August 2017, these bribes included expensive meals, designer bags, and payments by cash, check, and wire transfers. In total, Ayala accepted bribes and kickbacks totaling at least $219,060. The prescriptions that were steered to Prime Aid Union City as part of the scheme resulted in Medicare and Medicaid payments to the pharmacy of approximately $24.8 million.
Accountant Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $604,000+ From 2 Employers To Buy Home, Make Home Improvements, Travel, Restaurants Etc. – May 14, 2021
According to court documents, in May 2017, Kavita Harack was hired to work in the Orlando office of a display services company as an accountant. Between April 2018 and May 2019, Harack directed 74 fraudulent payments from the company to four bank accounts held in her or her husband’s name. Harack disguised the transfers to these personal accounts as vendor payments. After Harack was terminated by the display services company in May 2019, she was hired to work in the accounting department of a project design company in Orlando. Between July 2019 and December 2019, Harack directed four fraudulent payments from the project design company into two of her personal accounts, again disguising the transactions as vendor payments.
In total, between 2018 and 2019, Harack fraudulently paid herself $604,637.25 from accounts belonging to the display services and project design companies. Harack used those funds for personal expenditures, including the purchase of a home, home improvements, travel, retail purchases, restaurants, and beauty expenses.
Former Army Green Beret Sentenced To Prison For Russian Espionage Conspiracy – May 14, 2021
Peter Debbins admitted to conspiring with agents of a Russian intelligence service. According to court documents, from December 1996 to January 2011, Debbins periodically visited Russia and met with Russian intelligence agents. In 1997, Debbins was assigned a code name by Russian intelligence agents and signed a statement attesting that he wanted to serve Russia.
From 1998 to 2005, Debbins served on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army, serving in chemical units before being selected for the U.S. Army Special Forces. The Russian intelligence agents encouraged him to join and pursue a career in the Special Forces, which he did, where he served at the rank of Captain.
Over the course of the conspiracy, Debbins provided the Russian intelligence agents with information that he obtained as a member of the U.S. Army, including information about his chemical and Special Forces units. In 2008, after leaving active duty service, Debbins disclosed to the Russian intelligence agents classified information about his previous activities while deployed with the Special Forces. Debbins also provided the Russian intelligence agents with the names of, and information about, a number of his former Special Forces team members so that the agents could evaluate whether to approach the team members to see if they would cooperate with the Russian intelligence service
Former Bank Teller Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $200,000+ Of Social Security Funds From Deceased Customer’s Account To Use At Casinos – May 12, 2021
Jonnel Perkins was employed as a Retail Relationship Banker at a bank located in Philadelphia. While she was employed in this position, the Social Security Administration (SSA) conducted a routine audit which identified that a customer of the bank branch where Perkins worked was likely deceased but still receiving monthly electronic benefits from the SSA. The SSA suspended the payments to this account, but due to regulation had to wait seven years before the approximately $200,000 in accumulated benefit overpayments by the SSA could be reclaimed.
In the months prior to the time when the reclamation could be initiated, between June and December 2019, Perkins withdrew all of the funds from this dormant account. A subsequent investigation determined that the customer whose account from which the defendant withdrew funds had been deceased since 1999. In total, Perkins plead guilty to embezzling $207,450 from the deceased customer’s account. With the embezzled funds, the defendant made large cash deposits into her personal bank accounts as well as large cash deposits at casinos in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, totaling over $200,000.
Former Company Controller And 3 Family Members Charged With Embezzling $17 Million To Live Luxury Lifestyle – May 12, 2021
Between at least 2013 and 2020, SABITRI LAFOREST, GARRY LAFOREST, TATIANA LAFOREST, and SANJAY LAFOREST used SABITRI LAFOREST’s position as the controller of an electrical contracting company (Victim-1) to embezzle over $17 million from Victim-1. The defendants used SABITRI LAFOREST’s access to Victim-1’s bank account to make payments to a charge card account that TATIANA LAFOREST opened. The defendants regularly charged hundreds of thousands of dollars to the account, all paid for each month using Victim-1’s money.
The defendants used the charge card account to pay for, among other things, over $639,000 in air travel, over $242,000 in tickets for a New York City professional basketball team, over $250,000 in rent for two luxury apartments in Manhattan leased by TATIANA LAFOREST and SANJAY LAFOREST, over $100,000 in home improvements for a Florida home purchased by SABITRI LAFOREST and GARRY LAFOREST, and a 2020 Ford Shelby GT500 and a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1.
The defendants also laundered millions of dollars of the proceeds of their embezzlement scheme by transferring the money to other financial accounts controlled by themselves and their family members, and by making payments to a restaurant in Elmont, New York, owned by SABITRI LAFOREST and GARRY LAFOREST, and a group of hospitality companies, including two Manhattan restaurants, owned by SANJAY LAFOREST.
Former Veterans Affairs Employee Sentenced To Prison For Conspiring To Accept Bribes – May 12, 2021
Daniel Ross worked for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Fayetteville as an agent for the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant program, which provides federal funds to eligible veterans with certain severe, service-connected disabilities for the purpose of constructing adapted homes or modifying existing homes.
During the offense period, Ross was the assigned SAH agent for multiple grant projects awarded to All American Home Renovations (AAHR), a Fayetteville-based construction company then-owned and operated by Marc Schantz. Ross abused his position as an SAH agent to steer over $1 million worth of grant projects to AAHR in exchange for monetary payments from Schantz. Ross routinely advised his VA supervisors to approve grant awards to veterans in which AAHR was improperly and deceptively designated as a particular veteran’s “builder of choice” when, in fact, Ross had misled the veteran to believe that AAHR had been selected for them by the VA. AAHR concealed the unlawful payments to Ross by transferring the funds to a dormant business owned by Ross, making it appear as if the business was providing legitimate subcontracting services to AAHR.
Ross previously pled guilty to the charge. He was also ordered to pay $21,520.00 in restitution.
Former Administrator For Illinois Department Of Vehicle Services Sentenced To Prison For Fraud $300,000+ Fraud Scheme – May 11, 2021
Candace Wanzo was responsible for operation of the public service center where vehicle owners may pay title and registration fees, apply and pay for license plates, and make sales tax payments related to the sale of vehicles.
Wanzo stole title and registration fees and sales tax payments. Wanzo allegedly concealed the theft of title and registration fees by replacing stolen funds with title and registration fees from other vehicle owners.
From March 2015 to April 2017, Wanzo misapplied approximately $303,649 in title and registration fees to conceal title and registration fees that she had previously stolen. Also in October 2015, Wanzo allegedly changed the policy of not accepting cash for sales tax payments and directed staff to begin accepting cash for the sales tax payments. Staff were directed to deliver the cash to her at the end of the day in a yellow envelope.
Former President Of International United Auto Workers(UAW) Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling Union Funds / 6 Other UAW Officials Involved / Used Money For Lavish Entertainment And Personal Spending – May 11, 2021
Between June 2014 and June 2018, Dennis Williams served as the President of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Workers of America (UAW). The UAW represents over 400,000 active members and over 580,000 retired members in more than 600 local unions across the United States. Prior to serving as UAW President, Williams was the Secretary-Treasurer of the UAW from June 2010 through June 2014.
Williams conspired with at least six other senior UAW officials in a multi-year conspiracy to embezzle money from the UAW for the personal benefit of Williams and other senior UAW officials. UAW officials concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenditures in the cost of UAW conferences held in Palm Springs, California, Coronado, California, and Missouri. Between 2010 and 2018, former UAW President and co-defendant Gary Jones and other UAW officials submitted fraudulent expense forms seeking reimbursement from the UAW’s Detroit headquarters for expenditures supposedly incurred in connection with UAW leadership and training conferences. In truth, however, Williams and his co-conspirators used the conferences to conceal the hundreds of thousands of dollars in UAW funds spent on lavish entertainment and personal spending for the conspirators.
Former Animal Hospital Client Relations Specialist Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $182,000+ From Employer For Luxury Travel – May 11, 2021
Sasha Saulnier was employed by a full-service animal hospital as a client relations specialist from October 2011 until September 2018. During that time, she had various client responsibilities, including selling retail products to customers at the hospital. Saulnier also served in a temporary supervisory role, which gave her access to management software and the ability to manipulate account transactions and accounting data.
From March 2014 through August 2018, Saulnier entered false refund transactions into the company’s management software, and then credited her own personal debit cards, which linked directly to her personal checking account. Saulnier occasionally entered a fictitious refund for merchandise that was legitimately purchased by a customer, but never returned, and then credited the bogus refund to her own debit card. Saulnier also fabricated refunds for wholly fictitious retail purchases that were never actually made, and then credited that amount to her own debit card. Saulnier used dormant accounts of inactive hospital clients, such as those with deceased pets and so-called “test accounts,” set up solely for training purposes. In addition, Saulnier fabricated discounts which she applied to purchases of retail products.
Saulnier falsified approximately 482 transactions resulting in refunds and credits totaling more than $182,800 to her own bank account.
Saulnier used this money for personal expenses and travel, including trips to Las Vegas, New York City and the Bahamas.