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Insider Threat Incidents From May 23 To June 13, 2022

Former Office Manager Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $775,000+ From Employer Over 6 Years – June 13, 2022
Cynthia Jones was the Office Manager for a Central Texas business. In that role, she had access to the company’s accounting system and checkbook.

From 2012 to 2018, she forged over 70 company checks and stole over $775,000.


Former Bank Teller Sentenced To Prison For $144,000 Of Bank Fraud – June 13, 202
Ana Amesquita was the head teller at the Inwood branch of City National Bank.

In June 2019, Amesquita began a scheme to process ATM deposits without the supervision of a second bank employee, violating the bank’s policy. She would then take some of the cash for her own personal use and misrepresent the facts in the general ledger.

Amesquita was also ordered to pay $144,661 in restitution to the bank.


Former TSA Officer Pleads Guilty To Attempting To Smuggle Methamphetamine Through Los Angeles International Airport – June 10, 2022
Michael Williams is a former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Officer. He pleaded guilty today to a charge for smuggling what he believed was methamphetamine through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in exchange for a total of $8,000 in cash.

Authorities in 2020 conducted undercover operations involving Williams, whom they suspected of helping smuggle narcotics past security checkpoints at LAX.  During the operations, Williams met several times with a drug source to receive what he thought was methamphetamine.

As a TSA employee with unscreened access to LAX, Williams agreed to deliver the methamphetamine in a backpack to the drug source’s accomplice in the men’s restroom past the airport terminal’s security checkpoint.

After taking possession of what he believed was real narcotics, Williams transported an unscreened package containing the fake methamphetamine beyond the TSA screening area and delivered the package to another individual. This individual, whom Williams did not know was a federal agent, on both occasions exchanged $4,000 in cash in the stalls of the men’s restroom in the airport’s secure area.


Former North Carolina Town Finance Director Arrested On Charges For Embezzling $500,000+ – June 10, 2022
RALEIGH, N.C. – A Fayetteville woman was arrested today on charges of Embezzlement, Bank Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft.

Gay Tucker embezzled more than $500,000 from the Town of Spring Lake during her tenure as Finance Director and Accounting Technician for the Town. Tucker carried out the embezzlement through fraudulent checks containing forged signatures of the Mayor and Town Manager.


Former Bookkeeper Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $600,000+ From Employer To Pay For Her Personal Credit Card Expenses – June 9, 2022
In 2013, M&D Construction hired Nicole Lopez as a Bookkeeper / Accountant for the business. As part of her duties, Lopez was given access to M&D’s bank account and was given administrator permission over M&D’s Quick Books account.

Between January 2017 and January 2020, Lopez charged over $600,000 on her personal credit card accounts. Her expenses focused mostly on consumer shopping and travel, and included over $80,000 on purchases from Amazon, over $115,000 on general retail purchases, over $46,000 on clothing, over $57,000 on travel, over $34,000 on restaurants, over $24,000 on beauty products, over $12,000 on furniture, and over $7,000 on plastic surgery. None of these purchases was related to M&D’s business operations.

To pay for her personal credit card expenses, Lopez embarked on a scheme to embezzle money from M&D by using her access to M&D’s bank account to direct payments from the M&D business account to her personal credit accounts without the knowledge of or authorization from M&D’s owners. Between January 2017 and January 2020, Lopez directed 72 payments from M&D to her personal credit accounts and embezzled approximately $632,362.65.


Former Car Dealer Bookkeeper Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $2 Million Over 8 Years To Fund Her Gambling Addiction – May 3, 2022
A long-term accountant for a car dealer who stole almost $2 million from the company to fund her gambling addiction.

Sandra Balfour pleaded guilty and admitted to unlawfully transferring funds from Brisbane Motor Auctions and Platinum Vehicle Sales to her own personal bank account between 2010 and 2018.

Balfour had been working as a bookkeeper for more than 20 years and was a trusted employee who had access to the company’s accounts and payment system.

To avoid detection, Balfour used another employee’s log in information to generate the payments, and then used her own details to authorize them.


Former Public Schools Employee Sentenced To Prison For Defrauding School District Of $550,000+ – June 8, 2022
David Marshall was a former Media Communications Specialist employed by the Orangeburg County School District.

He created a scheme to defraud the district while purchasing remote learning cameras for school classrooms. Through the use of shell companies, fabricated documents, forged signatures, and a false identity, Marshall steered the district’s purchasing contracts to companies he created and controlled, purchased the cameras, then sold them to the school at a substantial markup.

Marshall also received funds from the school district for the cameras that he never paid to the seller. Through his scheme to defraud, Marshall received more than $550,000 in illegal proceeds. His scheme was eventually discovered by other school district employees, who confronted Marshall and reported the matter to the FBI for further investigation.


Former Office Manager Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $200,000 From Employer For Use In His Side Taxi Business – June 1, 2022
From October 2017 to April 2019, David Jackson worked as the Office Manager. His duties included handling all financial aspects of his employer’s business, including collecting, accounting for and paying over trust fund taxes to the IRS on behalf of his employer. Jackson also owned and operated a taxi business in Gillette and Casper.

Between February 2018 and April 2019, Jackson committed wire fraud by embezzling money from his employer, diverting money from the employer’s bank account and misusing a company credit card for his own personal expenditures, to include expenses associated with his taxi business.


Former Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $3 Million+ From Employer Over 5 Years To Pay For Travel & Investments – May 27, 2022
Mancy Martin admitted to defrauding her employers, Mid-Kansas Wound Specialists and Emergency Services P.A. Martin worked for the companies as a Bookkeeper, Business Manager and Chief Operating Officer.

An audit revealed that from 2012 to 2017, Martin embezzled approximately $3.1 million by fraudulently obtaining money from her employers’ banks, She used funds to pay for personal expenses, travel, and investments then made false accounting entries to disguise the embezzlement as payments or transferred funds between entities.


Former Employee Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $795,000+ From Employer – June 3, 2022
From in or about April 2017 through June 2019, Kayla Figelski stole at least $796,747 from her employer, an elder law attorney, in Malden.

Figelski perpetrated the scheme by forging checks to herself from her employer’s checking accounts, including conservatorship, trust and estate administration accounts her employer maintained for the firm’s elderly clients and their estates.

Figelski deposited the checks into her own bank account, from which she withdrew the funds, or directly cashed the checks. Figelski concealed the scheme by altering bank statements to make it appear that the checks were written to legitimate vendors.


Former Union Benefit Plan Administrator Admits Embezzling $140,000 – June 3, 2022
George Laufenberg was the Administrative Manager of the Northeast Carpenters Pension Fund. Laufenberg was a fiduciary and participant in the pension fund.

He admitted stealing $140,000 that was paid to him under a deferred compensation agreement to which he was not entitled.


Former Employee Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $295,000+ – June 2, 2022
Between October 2010 and August 2016, Ruby Baroni held an accounting position at a New Jersey guided-tour company. In that capacity, Baroni had authority to cut checks against the company’s bank accounts.

During that period, Baroni and Estela Laluf, a manager at the company, devised a scheme to embezzle funds from the company. Laluf would direct Baroni to cut company checks to actual company employees and contractors, which did not reflect any actual work or services done by those individuals. Baroni would then cash these checks, and Laluf and Baroni would then convert the resulting funds to their personal use.

Laluf and Baroni embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company.


Former State Highway Patrol Officer Sentenced For Selling Firearms Without a License, With Help Of Convicted Felon – June 2, 2022
In January 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) learned that Timothy Norman was selling firearms to various persons, including a convicted felon, while employed as a North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) trooper.

During the investigation, the FBI learned that Norman used a convicted felon as a middleman for various firearms, which included decommissioned NCSHP service weapons: Sig Sauer P226 .357 semi-automatic pistols, Arma Lite, AR-15 5.56mm semi-automatic rifles, and Beretta, Model 1201FP, 12-gauge shotguns. Thereafter, law enforcement agencies conducted three successful controlled purchase operations.

On July 7, 2021, investigating agencies executed a search warrant on Norman’s home and seized thousands of rounds of ammunition and over fifty firearms. In Norman’s patrol car, they found two more firearms (neither of which was NCSHP-issued), including one AR-15 rifle that Norman purchased from the FFL earlier that year. There was also an envelope with over $2,000 in cash, which included FBI buy money from one of the controlled buy operations referenced above.


Former Ohio Police Chief Plead Guilty In Role To Illegally Traffic 200 Fully Automatic Machine Guns – April 18, 2022
Police Officer Indicted For Theft Of 54 Firearms / Ammunition’s From Police Weapons Vault – January 20, 2021
Former Southwest Airlines Employee Sentenced To Prison For Stealing Firearms From Luggage – November 30, 2021
Active Duty Sailor And His Former Navy Colleague Are Charged With Conspiring To Traffic Guns – August 31, 2021
Former Army Soldier Sentenced To Prison For Burglarizing Firearms Dealers – September 29, 2020
Former Hospital Director Of Security Pleads Guilty To Buying Firearms With Hospital Funds And Then Selling Guns For Profit – June 17, 2020


Former Deputy Clerk Of Court Sentenced To Prison For Role In $1.3 Million+ Fraud Scheme Involving 5 Co-Conspirators – June 2, 2022
Willie Demps is the former Deputy Clerk of Court for Muscogee County, Georgia.

Demps worked for the court for approximately 30 years and supervised money deposits received by the clerk’s office. The Clerk’s Office received money from fines and condemnations, and payments were frequently made in cash.

From at least 2010 to 2019, Demps maintained a safe in his office to store sums of cash that were collected by the Clerk’s Office. During the business day, this safe was rarely locked, even when Demps was away from his office. Demps was responsible for depositing cash received by the Clerk’s Office into an appropriate Clerk of Superior Court bank account. Records indicate that the Clerk’s Office received over $5.5 million in cash during the period of 2010-2019, yet only a single cash deposit of approximately $210 was made into official accounts in 2019. No cash deposits were made in other years.

From Oct. 2010, to Nov. 2019, Demps issued at least 330 Clerk of Superior Court checks payable to the named the 5 co-conspirators, totaling at least $1.3 million.

Demps would meet various co-conspirators in locations away from his place of business at the clerk’s office to give the illicit checks to them to be cashed at banks. The co-conspirators
cashed the checks and returned the money to Demps, who would give the participating co-conspirators a portion of the money. Demps admits he used the money for personal expenses, to send money to foreign countries and to spend at casinos.


TSA Labor Union President Pleads Guilty To Misappropriating $3,000 Of Union Funds For Personal Travel – June 2, 2022
Marie LeClair was the president of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2617, which was based in Boston and represented TSA employees.

Beginning in or about March 2015, LeClair engaged in a scheme to defraud the union by misappropriating funds belonging to the union for her personal use. LeClair transferred funds from union accounts to a travel debit card issued in her own name without the knowledge or authorization of the union and used the misappropriated union funds for personal expenses. On May 22, 2018, LeClair made a wire transfer of $3,000 from a union account to her personal travel debit card.


Former Police Chief Sentenced To Prison For Illegally Trafficking 200 Fully Automatic Machine Guns – June 2, 202
Dorian LaCourse is the former Chief of Police in the Village of Addyston, Ohio. 2 federally licensed firearms dealers in Indiana were his coconspirators, Johnathan Marcum and Christopher Petty.

LaCourse, Marcum, and Petty, illegally exploited a law enforcement exception to the federal ban on the possession or transfer of fully automatic machine guns. As Chief of Police, LaCourse signed multiple demonstration letters falsely stating that the Village of Addyston Police Department was interested in purchasing various types of machine guns, including military-grade weapons, and asking that Marcum and or Petty give the demonstration. Marcum and Petty then sent the letters to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to obtain the weapons. Addyston is a village in southwestern Ohio of approximately 1,000 residents. LaCourse was the village’s only full-time police officer.

LaCourse also placed direct orders for German-made machine guns that were purported to be paid for by the Police Department. In fact, the purchases were fully funded by Marcum and Petty and intended to bypass restrictions on the importation of such weapons by anyone other than the police or the military.

The Addyston Police Department was never authorized to purchase any of the machine guns, and the Indiana gun dealers never provided any demonstrations of machine guns to the police department. Instead, the gun dealers resold the machine guns at a significant profit. In some instances, a gun dealer resold illegally acquired machine guns for five or six times the purchase price. The conspirators purchased or caused the importation of approximately 200 fully automatic machine guns. LaCourse received over $11,500 from the gun dealers for his role in the scheme.


2 California State Political Leaders Resign After FBI Agents Accuse Them Of Bribery & Fraud In Connection With The City’s $320 Million Sale Of Stadium – May 23, 2022
2 prominent Orange County political leaders resigned within 24 hours of each other amid fallout from a sprawling federal public corruption investigation linked to the proposed sale of Angel Stadium and allegations that a secretive “cabal” controlled Anaheim’s politics.

Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu announced he was stepping down after being accused of bribery, fraud, obstruction of justice and witness tampering in an affidavit supporting a search warrant application earlier this month.

The FBI affidavit states that Sidhu gave Major League Baseball’s Angels confidential information on at least two occasions during the city’s negotiations with the team over the $320 Million Angel Stadium sale, and hoped to get a million-dollar campaign donation from the team.


Paralegal Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $1.2 Million+ From Law Firm Trust Account – June 1, 2022
From at September 2015, through December 2017, Lindsey Passmore, was a paralegal at a Richmond area law firm that specialized in real estate law. That firm held loan proceeds in an escrow account for a private lender, Joshua Romano. Romano was involved with the purchase, rehabilitation, and sale of homes around Richmond. The loan proceeds were earmarked for Romano to use them only for the purchase of purchase and rehabilitation of specific properties, and only with the lender’s express approval for each disbursement. In order to cover this up, Passmore sent the lender emails that falsely reported the balances held in escrow for these properties.

Passmore disbursed a total of $1,206,953.27 of the lender’s funds held in escrow for Romano’s projects without receiving the lender’s approval or by misleading the lender about how the funds were to be used. The funds were then allegedly used by Romano for purposes outside the scope of the agreements with the lender.


Police Officer And His Wife Charged For $99,000 Fraud Scheme Against Fraternal Order of Police For Spending On Personal Items – May 31, 202
Michael Hardin, an officer with the St. Joseph Police Department, was the president of the Fraternal Order of Police Northwest Missouri Lodge for approximately 10 years.

Sarah Hardin, formerly a deputy with the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department, was the treasurer of the lodge for approximately 10 years.

The Hardins used debit cards linked to the bank accounts of the Fraternal Order of Police Northwest Missouri Lodge to make $99,000 in purchases for their own personal gain over a 4 year period from December 2015 to December 2019.

Sarah Hardin used two debit cards to make purchases at Walmart, Menards, Party City, HyVee, and other businesses for personal items and expenses. Michael Hardin allegedly used one debit card to make purchases from various merchants, including Hampton Inn, for personal items and expenses.


Former Operations Manager Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $2.6 Million+ Shipping Company By Creating Fake Invoices -May 31, 2022
Savino USA provides transportation services to its customers in the United States by subcontracting local deliveries to third-party trucking companies.

In her role at Savino USA, Vika Moa was responsible for selecting and paying these local subcontractors.

Between June 2016, and October 2019, Ms. Moa falsely represented to Savino USA employees that invoices for trucking services were owed, which caused Savino USA to pay more than $2.6 million to a bank account to which she had access.

Moa misrepresented to Savino USA employees that a fictitious business was an actual transportation company. She created fraudulent invoices for trucking services that the fictitious business purportedly provided to Savino USA.

Ms. Moa then directed Savino USA to pay the fictitious business based on these false invoices, knowing full well that the company did not perform any services for Savino USA, as it was not a real business and did not have any operations.


Former Employee Convicted Of Stealing Microchip Trade Secret For Company He Started – May 28, 2022
Haoyang Yu was convicted of possessing the prototype design of a microchip, known as the HMC1022A, which was owned and developed by Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), a semiconductor company.

From 2014 to 2017, Yu worked at ADI, where he designed microchips used by the communications, defense and aerospace industries. As a result of his work, Yu had access to ADI’s present and future microchip designs, including their schematic files, design layout files and manufacturing files.

While he was an ADI employee, Yu started his own microchip design firm, Tricon MMIC, LLC, and used the stolen HMC1022A design to manufacture a knock-off version of ADI’s chip. Yu began selling his version of HMC1022A prior to ADI’s release of its chip. ADI cooperated fully in the government’s investigation.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 13th, 2022 at 6:49 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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