Former Bank Teller Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $79,000+ Over 6 Years – October 21, 2020
Rebecca Teegarden was a bank teller at the First National Bank of Brooksville. Between 2013 and 2019, Teegarden admitted to repeatedly using customers’ names and account numbers to make miscellaneous debit cash withdrawals from the customers’ bank accounts, without the customers’ consent.
In total, Teegarden admitted that she stole $79,086.00 from victims who were customers at the Bank. She further admitted that she selected the accounts of her victims because those customers were elderly and did not regularly monitor their accounts.
Teegarden held the cash in her teller drawer and later converted the money to her own use, by depositing it into her or her mother’s bank accounts.
Former IRS Agent Charged With Cocaine Distribution – October 21, 2020
Since March 2020, officials of the DEA have been investigating a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in New Jersey and elsewhere. In April 2020, law enforcement identified a residence in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, as a location from which members of the DTO were dealing cocaine. The investigation revealed that Michael Shelli had a courier pick up cocaine from the residence and deliver it to his residence in Albany. Shelli would then repackage the cocaine for sale in the area.
Former County Clerk Of Courts Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $40,000 – October 21, 2020
Steven Lukach served as the Clerk of Courts for Schuylkill County for approximately 27 years. In 2013-2014, county auditors with the Controller’s Office began an in depth examination of the Clerk’s Office and discovered misappropriation of funds by Lukach. An FBI investigation ensued and while the audit was going on, Lukach interfered with the audit by stealing mail that was sent to banks, forged records and sent the fake bank records to the Controller’s Office.
Lukach did so in an effort to conceal that he was taking funds from various accounts for his own personal purposes, such as paying a family member’s credit card bill, paying for meals, making car payments, and other personal expenses. The total funds misappropriated was $40,000.
Former Department of Transportation Employee Sentenced To Prison For $108,000+ Health Care Fraud Scheme – October 20, 2020
Edward Stephen was a federal employee with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. As a federal employee, he was eligible for health insurance provided by the federal government.
Stephen fraudulently enrolled extended family members into his federal health care plan, knowing they were not eligible for federal health care benefits. Specifically, Stephen enrolled his sister as though she was his wife and his niece as though she was his step-child so that they would obtain federal health care coverage they were not entitled to receive.
This scheme lasted from 2005 to 2017 and included several years where Stephen resided in and worked in Charleston as a federal employee. When investigators learned of the fraud, Stephen gave a statement to investigators with the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General. In his statement, Stephen admitting that he fraudulently placed his extended family members on his federal insurance knowing they were not entitled to receive benefits. In total, the Court found that the government was defrauded out of $108,411.59 in fraudulent premium payments and reimbursements.
Former Medical Assistant Pleads Guilty To Role In Genetic Testing Kickback And Bribery Scheme Involving Doctors – October 20, 2020
Shanelyn Kennedy worked as a medical assistant for Yitzachok Kurtzer, a primary care physician with separate offices in the Scranton area. From at least 2018, Kurtzer and his wife, Robin Kurtzer accepted monthly cash kickbacks and bribes in exchange for collecting DNA samples from Medicare patients and sending them for genetic tests to clinical laboratories in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The cash kickbacks ranged up to $5,000, and the Kurtzers typically accepted the cash in one of Kurtzer’s offices, at times behind locked doors.
Even as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic substantially reduced in-patient visits, the Kurtzers continued with their scheme. They went from receiving hand-delivered cash kickbacks and bribes to accepting payments by wire and through a mobile phone money-transfer application.
Kennedy participated in the conspiracy with another employee, Amber Harris, who has previously pleaded guilty for her role in the scheme. They both helped collect the DNA swabs in exchange for also receiving kickbacks and bribes, both in cash and later using the money-transfer application.
As a result of the scheme, Medicare paid $755,241 for genetic tests generated from Kurtzer’s practice.
Former Employee Of Medical Packaging Company Sentenced To Prison For Sabotaging Electronic Shipping Records – October 20, 2020
In early March 2020, Christopher Dobbins was terminated from his employment at a medical device packaging company. While employed at the company, Dobbins had administrator access to the computer systems containing the company’s shipping information. When his employment was terminated, he also lost his access to the company’s computer systems.
On March 26, Dobbins received his final paycheck from the company. Three days later, on March 29, 2020, he used a fake user account that he had previously created while still employed at the company to log into the company’s computer systems. He then conducted a computer intrusion that disrupted and delayed the medical device packaging company’s shipments of
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
While logged in through the fake user account, Dobbins created a second fake user account and then used that second account to edit approximately 115,581 records and delete approximately 2,371 records. After taking these actions, Dobbins deactivated both fake user accounts and logged out of the system. The edits and deletions to the company’s records disrupted the company’s shipping processes, causing delays in the delivery of much-needed PPEs to healthcare providers.
Former Sales Manager Charged With Stealing Company Funds Over 8 Years – October 16, 2020
The Indictment alleges that on beginning on or about January 2010 and continuing through September 25, 2018, Dallas Harkness, who was a sales manager for Curry Seed Company located in Elk Point, South Dakota, devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud and to obtain money and property from others by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, using electronic wire communications.
Harkness would receive checks from Curry Seed customers as payment or pre-payment for seed, but instead of sending the checks to Curry Seed for deposit, Harkness would falsely and fraudulently deposit some of those checks from customers into checking account he controlled. Harkness then used the funds for his own purposes.
Former Employee Of Medical Services Provider Charged In $250,000+ Health Care Fraud Scheme – October 16, 2020
An eleven-count indictment charges former KHH employee Amber Price and Christopher Cruz, owner of a medical marketing business, CP Cruz Management Group, with conspiracy to violate the federal anti-kickback law.
Price is also charged with four counts of soliciting and receiving illegal kickbacks; one count of conspiracy to commit Health Care Fraud; and, five counts of Health Care Fraud and aiding and abetting Health Care Fraud.
From June 2014 to April 2019, Price created fraudulent prescriptions which were submitted for payment to federal health care benefit programs including Medicare, Medicaid, FEHBP, TRICARE and other private insurance companies. The indictment also alleges that Price and Cruz solicited and received monies from various pharmacies and laboratories to increase their volume of signed prescriptions, lab analysis and other billable procedures. Price used actual hospital patient information she obtained to create fraudulent prescription forms. To facilitate her scheme, she allegedly forged physician’s signatures on prescription forms or used pre-signed or photo copied prescription forms. Price and Cruz
accepted financial kickbacks paid by pharmacies on a per-prescription basis once they received payment from the insurance companies. During the scheme, Price was paid over $250,000 in kickbacks by multiple different marketers. ”
Former Union Business Manager Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $50,00 From Union – October 15, 2020
Rick Drain was the business manager of a local union. He used his position to defraud the union. Law enforcement learned that Drain had defrauded the union of approximately $50,000 by collecting dues and other fees from union members and keeping the money for himself, not depositing it into the union’s bank account.
Former Employee Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $450,000 From Employer – October 15, 2020
Gregory Press pleaded guilty to wire fraud in July of 2019. According to court documents, while Press was employed as the director of operations at L&C Billing Services Inc. in West Des Moines, he stole $450,000 from the company over a number of years.
Press accessed the company payroll and issued himself unauthorized salary raises and bonuses; he paid for personal credit card debit with company funds; he issued company checks and cash to himself; and he placed two women, with whom he had personal relationships with, on the company payroll and insurance plan – although they did not work for L&C Billing Services Inc.
Wells Fargo Has Fired More Than 100 Employees For Lying To Get COVID-19 Relief Funds – October 14, 2020
Wells Fargo has terminated between 100 and 125 workers for improperly obtaining COVID-19 relief funds by lying on their application.
In an internal memo reviewed by Business Insider, the bank said it had identified employees it believes have “defrauded the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by making false representations in applying for coronavirus relief funds for themselves” through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
“We have terminated the employment of those individuals and will cooperate fully with law enforcement,” Wells Fargo HR chief David Galloreese said in the memo. Gallorese also wrote that Wells Fargo believes the fraud occurred “outside of their work responsibilities” as Wells Fargo employees.
Former U.S. Postal Worker Sentenced To Prison For Stealing 400+ Mobile Phones Out of Packages In The Mail / Selling For Profit – October 14, 2020
Beginning in about August, 2019, Rico Alvarez, an employee of the United States Postal Service, began stealing smartphones placed into the mail for delivery to customers. Over the course of the next three months, Alvarez stole more than 400 phones, by surreptitiously opening the box as it passed his mail sorting station, removing the phone, and then sending the empty package on for delivery to the intended recipient.
On the day he was caught by OIG Special Agents, he had over a dozen stolen phones in his possession. When interviewed, Alvarez admitted to stealing high end, recently released, smartphones, which he subsequently sold for his own profit.
Former Arsenio Hall Show Musical Director Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $1 Million Intended For Charity Concert – October 14, 2020
During the summer of 2016, Robin DiMaggio promised to help the Bulgaria-based non-profit organization Peace For You Peace For Me Foundation organize a concert in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. The concert was intended to raise money to help children who lost their homes because of global conflicts.
DiMaggio, a professional drummer who also had served as a musical director for the United Nations, offered to get world-famous musicians and celebrities to perform at the concert, and he claimed to need money to book these artists. Relying on these promises, the foundation’s financial sponsor wired nearly $1 million to DiMaggio.
Rather than use the money for the charity concert, DiMaggio instead used it to fund his personal lifestyle and pay his debts. Within weeks of the last wire transfer of $750,000, he used $251,370 of the funds to purchase a Calabasas home for his ex-wife. DiMaggio also bought his mother a $35,000 car and bought his son a $24,000 car. He also wired $150,000 of the funds to a bank account in the name of his company, DiMagic Entertainment Inc.
Former Oil Executive Admits To Embezzling $2 Million+ From Employer – October 14, 2020
Robert Bishop was the vice president of resource management at International Professional Management (IPM), an oil services company located in Houston. As part of his duties, he was in charge of securing short term loans to cover IPM’s monthly operating capital.
He admitted he would inflate the loan amount needed and then divert the excess money to fake vendor accounts he controlled. Over the span of approximately six years, Bishop diverted roughly $2.1 million from the company’s operating expenses.
Former Office Manager Charged With Health Care Fraud Of $646,000+ – October 14, 2020
Susanne Gawel worked as an office manager at her Fort Wayne company which sold durable medical equipment (DME) to clients across northern Indiana. Some of the company’s clients were Medicaid beneficiaries. Through her work, Gawel had access to Medicaid patient information, including patients’ names, addresses, dates of birth, Medicaid ID numbers and treating physician information.
From about January 2015 and continuing to about October 2018, Gawel devised a scheme to defraud Medicaid. During this time period, she submitted over 200 reimbursement claims to Indiana Medicaid for DME, including oximetry devices and pneumatic compressors, which were not provided to Medicaid recipients and/or for which they had no medical necessity and/or for which there was no physician order. In total, her scheme defrauded Indiana Medicaid of approximately $646,690.32.
Gawel was sentenced to 48 months in prison, 1 year of supervised release and ordered to pay $646,690.32 in restitution.
Former Office Manager Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $790,600 From Employer Over 4 Years – October 13, 2020
Richard Walker was the part-time office manager of a locally owned business where he worked 10 hours a week and was responsible for paying bills and managing the finances of the business. He was paid $500 per week. Walker also had two companies of his own: RBD Distributors LLC and Shotgun Shooting Supply LLC.
Walker’s scheme consisted of two parts. First, from January 2014 to July 3, 2018, Walker used the business’s bank account, without authorization, to write $751,824.29 in checks to himself and his two companies. In total, there were more than 500 checks, ranging from $145.89 to $16,981.03, each of which included the forged signature of the owner of the business.
The second part of the scheme occurred from March 19 to July 3, 2018. During that time period, Walker used the business’s personal and corporate credit cards to charge $301,328.65 in fraudulent / unauthorized credit card transactions that were paid to Walker’s company, RBD Distributors. Walker sometimes paid for those credit card transactions by writing a check or initiating a transfer from the business’s bank account.
Walker engaged in a series of actions to hide and cover up his fraudulent scheme including changing the address for the business’s credit card statements from the actual location of the business to the address of a relative of Walker (so that the owner of the business would no longer receive credit card statements); adding himself as “Treasurer” of the business by sending an annual report to the Florida Secretary of State that falsely represented that he had that position with the company; adding his email and phone number to an account for the business’s corporate card; and adding an email address to another of the business’s corporate cards.
Former Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty To Smuggling, Racketeering, Conspiracy Charges – October 13, 2020
From at least 2017 until her arrest earlier this year, Former Correctional Dietary Officer Chanel Pierce conspired with other COs, inmates, and outside facilitators to smuggle contraband into the Jessup Correctional Institution (JCI), including narcotics, alcohol, tobacco, and cell phones, in order to enrich themselves and protect and expand their criminal operation.
According to the plea agreement and other court documents, COs accepted or agreed to accept payments from facilitators and / or inmates or engaged in sexual relations with inmates as consideration for smuggling contraband into JCI. Inmates acted as both wholesalers and retailers of contraband and in the process made profits that far exceeded the profits that could be made by selling similar drugs on the street. For example, conspirator inmates could purchase Suboxone strips for approximately $3 each and sell them inside JCI for approximately $50 each, or for a profit of more than 1,000%.
Early on the morning of May 25, 2019, Pierce met with a co-defendant outside facilitator at her home and obtained several balloons filled with controlled substances to smuggle into JCI. Pierce then went to work and was stopped by law enforcement as she entered the facility and searched. Law enforcement recovered a concealed purple balloon from Pierce’s person containing Suboxone. A subsequent search of Pierce’s home revealed several more balloons filled with contraband that she intended to smuggle into JCI.
Former DoD Contractor Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Steal Government Equipment From U.S. Military Base In Afghanistan – October 13, 2020
Varita Quincy admitted that, between April 2015 and July 2015, she, Larry J. Green of Chesapeake, Virginia, and others conspired to steal, and did steal, equipment and property of value to the United States while working for a government contractor operating on Kandahar Airfield, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Quincy was a supervisor in the office that issued security badges required for the movement of personnel and property on and off Kandahar Airfield. Quincy admitted that as part of the conspiracy, Green identified items of value to steal, such as vehicles, generators, refrigerators, and other equipment. Green negotiated the sale of those items with persons outside of the installation. Quincy then facilitated the thefts by creating false official documents, or instructing those she supervised to prepare such documents, to facilitate the entry of unknown and unvetted Afghan nationals and their vehicles on to the military installation to remove the stolen property. Quincy shared in the profits from this scheme. The false documents she created, or directed others to create, were used to deceive security officers and gate guards and thereby compromised the security and safety of the military installation.