September 26, 2021

Accountants Behaving Badly: E Is for Embezzlement, This Lady Is a Wreck, Records Destruction!

Plus, a U.K. accountant is going to spend some time in jail for stealing money from two nursery schools, which she used to treat herself to a new kitchen.

Accountant arrested for embezzling $1.2 million from furniture firm [Woodworking Network]
Manuel “Mendy” Goldring was arrested on Feb. 18 for allegedly embezzling $1.2 million from Academia Furniture Industries, a Wood-Ridge, New Jersey-based manufacturer of educational furniture.

Goldring, 27, had worked there as comptroller from October 2015 to February 2020.

Manuel Goldring

He was charged by authorities last week with with money laundering, computer-related crimes, theft by deception, impersonation, and false swearing.

Goldring is accused of embezzling approximately $1.2 million from the business through the theft of checks, PayPal transfers, and Amazon purchases.

Metairie Man Sentenced For Embezzling Over $7 Million and For Filing False Tax Returns [Justice Department]
Here’s another instance of a comptroller behaving badly: Deepak “Jack” Jagtiani of Metairie, LA, was sentenced to 63 months in prison on Feb. 9 for embezzling more than $7 million from his employer and for defrauding the government of more than $1 million in income taxes.

The Justice Department has the gory details:

According to the court documents, from 2007 to 2019, Jagtiani served as the comptroller of Dan-Gulf Shipping, Inc., a Metairie-based freight forwarding company. In that capacity, Jagtiani had the authority to manage the payroll and other accounts for Dan-Gulf. Jagtiani admitted that he used his authority to pay himself excessive salaries and benefits from 2009 through early 2019. In total, Jagtiani defrauded Dan-Gulf and its business partner of over $7,000,000.00.

Jagtiani also admitted to filing false personal tax returns. According to court documents, for tax years 2014 to 2017, Jagtiani claimed business losses through a fake catering business. In total, he claimed enough business losses to offset most of his income for which he would be required to pay federal income tax. In truth and in fact, neither Jagtiani nor his spouse operated any catering business. In total, Jagtiani avoided paying $1,232,267.00 in federal income taxes.

As to Count 1, wire fraud, Judge [Jay C.] Zainey sentenced Jagtiani to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release. As to Count 2, filing false tax returns, Judge Zainey sentenced Jagtiani to 36 months in prison and one year of supervised release.  These sentences were ordered to run concurrently. Jagtianiwas also ordered to pay a $100 mandatory special assessment as to each count.

Judge Zainey further ordered Jagtiani to pay $7,077,137.36 in restitution to Dan-Gulf and Caytrans BBC, LLC, a partner of Dan-Gulf. Jagtiani must also pay $1,232,267.00 in restitution to the IRS for unpaid income taxes.

Jagtiani, 61, previously pleaded guilty to both counts of the indictment, which charged him with wire fraud and making false statements on a federal income tax return.

Las Cruces woman pleads guilty to wire fraud and fraudulent tax returns [Justice Department]
Accountant Sandra Roberto, 42, of Las Cruces, NM, also got to walk through the halls of justice (virtually, probably) recently, pleading guilty in federal court on Jan. 29 to wire fraud and fraudulent tax returns stemming from an embezzlement scheme:

According to court records, from 2011 to 2018, Roberto used her position in the accounting department for Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) to embezzle over a million dollars. As MVT’s primary contact with two third-party payment processors, Roberto deposited checks ranging from $400 to $975 into her personal bank account. Upon discovering her embezzlement scheme, MVT terminated her employment in 2018.

In addition to wire fraud, Roberto also falsified her income tax returns by failing to report any of the illegally embezzled funds to the IRS. For example, in 2017, Roberto embezzled $217,260, but only reported $31,932 as taxable income. The Form 1040 U.S. Individual Tax Return includes a declaration that the information is reported under the penalties of perjury.

She faces up to 20 years in prison.

Seattle contract bookkeeper and accountant indicted for Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Destruction of Records [Justice Department]
Here’s a doozy: Joan Trower was charged on Feb. 5 with nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of destruction of records for allegedly embezzling at least $188,000 from an unnamed high-end mountain bike company.

According to the JD:

Trower worked as a contract bookkeeper and accountant for the mountain bike company from July 2015 to May 2018. Her contract was terminated when the embezzlement was discovered. Trower used a variety of schemes to steal from company accounts: creating checks using the company software system, forging signatures, claiming expenses and compensation she did not earn, and making transfers from company accounts to accounts she controlled in the names of phony tax accounting businesses. For example, while most employees received at most three checks per month (two for salary and one for expenses), Trower wrote as many as thirteen checks to herself in one month. Trower put false descriptions in the memo line, sometimes falsely claiming the funds were to reimburse her for an outside tax accounting firm she claimed to have hired. Trower transferred money from company accounts to accounts she controlled—transferring more than $26,000 to her account in the span of just a few months in 2015. Trower and her boyfriend used the money to, among other things, gamble at area casinos.

The indictment alleges that Trower committed aggravated identity theft when she forged the signature of company executives on fraudulent checks and when she submitted false invoices in the name of a third-party tax accountant to justify reimbursements to Trower.

Finally, Trower allegedly attempted to destroy and alter company records in the company’s accounting software to hide her embezzlement from law enforcement.

Her trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez is scheduled for April 12.

Broken Bow accountant agrees to turn herself in to authorities soon [Associated Press]
Nebraska resident Connie Ulmer’s life is a wreck—in more ways than one. Here’s why:

A Broken Bow accountant has agreed to turn herself in on theft charges — as soon as she’s released from a hospital where she’s being treated for injuries from a car crash last week, authorities said.

Authorities had been searching for Connie Ulmer, 50, to serve an arrest warrant charging her with four counts of theft, the Grand Island Independent reported. The Nebraska State Patrol discovered she was hospitalized, and a spokesman with the patrol said officials have been in contact with her attorney, who said she would turn herself in when she is released from the hospital.

Ulmer, who owns Connie Ulmer Accounting in Broken Bow, was the treasurer for Broken Bow Booster Club, which raises money for activities at Broken Bow Public Schools. She was accused of stealing more than $45,000 from the booster club.

Accountant facing jail for stealing over £100k from nurseries and blowing the money on bitcoin [Yahoo News]
Jane Myhill is facing jail after stealing £100,000 from two nurseries and blowing the money on home improvements and bitcoin.

Myhill, 55, stole a total of £102,000 from Worcester and Madresfield Early Years Centres. She admitted to stealing the money between January 2015 and October 2019. If that wasn’t bad enough:

The nurseries were run by Myhill’s friend of 20 years Alice Bennett MBE who was battling breast cancer at the time.

Myhill allegedly used the money to invest in bitcoin, purchase luxury goods from upmarket companies, and treat herself to a new kitchen.

UPDATE: Myhill was sentenced to two years and four months in jail on Feb. 19.

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2 Comments

  1. Looks like it’s pretty easy to steal. Are/we’re these people accountants in name only? So many refer to themselves as accountants after taking a bookkeeping course & plugging data into QuickBooks. This makes us all look bad.

  2. I agree with you. They make the rest of us honest accountant look bad. These busted embezzlers are quack accountants.

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