Monday, December 6, 2010

Embezzlers Who Couldn't Wait to Win the Lotto

I try to keep up with the latest embezzler stories posted on Fraud Talk Blog but there are so many of them I must say I'm very shocked.  Apparently these folks lost patience waiting for their winning lotto ticket numbers.

Florida Woman Indicted In Alleged $113 Million Ponzi Scheme Case

Lydia I. Cladek, 66, of St. Augustine, Florida, has been indicted on charges she bilked investors out of more than $113 million. Cladek, the owner and principal of investment firm Lydia Cladek, Inc., is alleged to have used investment funds to purchase high interest auto loans, then issued promissory notes secured by the vehicles, and used the proceeds to enrich herself and pay off earlier investors. Cladek reportedly was guaranteeing investors a return of up to 20 percent per year in the scheme. The 14 count indictment charges Cladek with wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. -Article link

Former Executive Of Virginia Company Sentenced To 5 Years For $580K Misappropriation

Iraj "Roger" Ahmadian, 54, of Williamsburg, Virginia and Memphis, Tennessee, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for misappropriating nearly $580,000 from Dillon Stone Corporation where he had been employed as Executive Vice President. According to authorities, Ahmadian received additional unauthorized paychecks and caused checks to be issued to fictitious subcontractor he created known as Phoenix Tile for his own benefit. The scheme spanned approximately four years, from 2003 to 2007. Ahmadian, who was indicted in February 2010 on 20 counts, plead guilty earlier this year to one felony count of bank fraud and one felony count of tax evasion.

New York Man Charged With Embezzling $4.5 Million From Columbia University  George Castro, 48, of the Bronx, New York, has been arrested and charged with misappropriating some $4.4 million from Columbia University. According to authorities, Castro added a TD Bank account he controlled to Columbia's authorized electronic payment system and received $3.4 million in October and another $1 million in November. His relationship with the university is unclear at this time. However, the account he controlled was under the name IT Security Solutions LLCArticle Link

Calfornia Woman Admits To $116K Embezzlement

April G. Hale, 38, formerly of Windsor, California, pleaded no contest to charges she embezzled some $116,000 from the Law Offices of Michael A. Villa (pictured at right) where she had been employed as the firm's bookkeeper/office manager. According to reports, Hale made electronic funds transfers to pay for personal expenses such as credit card bills, utility bills and the like. Attorney Villa claimed Hale supported a "lavish lifestyle" through the thefts from his firm. Hale pleaded no-contest to six felonies including one count of grand theft and five of identity theft. She was originally charged in June on 41 felony counts and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 31, 2011. Article link

Former Finance Director for Texas School District Charged With Embezzling $111K

Sylvia Yvonne Ruiz, 58, of Hidalgo County, Texas, was arrested yesterday and charged with embezzling $111,100 in tuition fees from the Hidalgo Independent School District where she had served as finance director. Authorities have not released the details in the case yet, but Ruiz is alleged to have misappropriated the funds between August 2009 and January 2010. Ruiz, who apparently took tuition receipts for herself instead of depositing them for the school district, has been charged with Theft By Public Servant. Article link

Former Non-Profit Exec From Texas Sentenced For $390K Embezzlement Scheme

Michael Woodson Burney, 54, of Midland, Texas, was sentenced to two consecutive terms totalling 51 months in prison for embezzling more than $390,000 from Camp Fire USA where he had served as executive director. According to authorities, beginning in June 2007 through November 2009, Burney wrote numerous checks from the non-profit's accounts to himself to support a gambling habit forging the signature of two board members. He had plead guilty in August after being indicted in July to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Burney was also ordered to pay full restitution to Camp Fire USA and its insurer.  Article link

There's plenty more at the Fraud Talk Blog