Charlotte NC Feb 21 2013 A Charlotte man who worked at UNC Charlotte for five years has agreed to plead guilty to bilking the school of more than $829,000, U.S. Justice Department officials said Wednesday.
Sam Hanna, 62, had been employed for five years at UNCC as a Facilities Engineer Specialist and was responsible for soliciting bids and selecting outside contractors for work at UNCC, prosecutors said.
He was charged with one count of federal program theft conspiracy and has agreed to enter a guilty plea, according to prosecutors. The total amount involved in the case was $829,807, according to prosecutors.
The federal government was involved in the investigation, along with UNCC police, because the university receives federal assistance in the form of grants, loans and subsidies.
According to court paperwork, Hanna used his position and authority to award no-bid contracts to a pair of companies owned by people who were identified by the government as co-conspirators. In his position at the school, Hanna had the authority to award contracts of less than $30,000 without going through the bidding process.
Prosecutors say one of the companies, known as Air Handling Equipment Enterprises, was owned by Hanna’s son-in-law. The second company was known as Air Motion Systems, the government said.
In documents filed in the case, the government alleged that Hanna, who worked at UNCC from 2006 to 2011, awarded contracts to the two companies. The companies did little or no actual work, prosecutors said, but Hanna is accused of issuing fraudulent invoices from the school.
Court records show that the two companies deposited $413,170 in a company owned by Hanna, called Air Touch Systems. Prosecutors say Hanna used the money for payments on several consumer lines of credit, along with mortgage payments for his home, and to make purchases from Dish Network, Anne Taylor and Verizon.
No date has been set for sentencing, but Hanna faces a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine. He has agreed to make full restitution, according to prosecutors, although that amount has not been determined.
As a Facilities Engineer Specialist, Hanna earned an annual salary of $54,426, according to state employee records.
A check of criminal records shows no previous charges or judgments against Hanna or his company, Air Touch Systems. Source: Charlotte Observer
The five men all appeared Friday before U.S Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos, who formally charged them with taking money by force from a federally insured financial institution.
The men were held without bond pending an upcoming detention hearing.
The men were identified as Omar Pando Perales, 27, Luis Armando Silva, 26, Michael Valle, Eric Haines, 35 and 31-year-old Alberto Bautista.
Federal court records say McAllen police was called to International Bank of Commerce, 1700 S. 10th St., on June 3 after an ATM had been burglarized and $64,760 had been taken from it. The ATM had been forced open with a metal bar and a special code had been used to open the money box.
Four days after the burglary, McAllen police and FBI agents interviewed Omar Pando, a driver at Rochester Armored Car Company. During the interview Pando was arrested after he admitted to having burglarized the ATM along with the four other suspects.
Pando told police that on June 1, two days before the burglary, Silva went to a nearby Walmart to buy the crowbar used to pry open the ATM. On the day of the actual burglary, Pando acted as a lookout, using Valle’s vehicle that he parked nearby, court records state. Haines and Silva allegedly used Haines car to drive to the ATM and break into it.
Records show that after the burglary, the group met at Chavez’s home where they went into the garage and split a small part of the money and hid the rest inside a duffle bag that was then locked inside a safe.
The following day, Chavez met Haines at his home in order to get rid of the clothes they used, as well as the plastic cases that the money was in, records show. The tow men dug a hole and burned the items.
On June 7, Bautista took the money to Pando’s home, court records say, but when he arrived he saw the police vehicles outside and fled the area throwing the money out in a nearby grassy field, where officers found it shortly after.
Monroe LA July 14 2012 City police arrested a man Thursday morning accused of stealing more than $10,000 from a local store.
Aaron Howard, 22, of 322 Woodale Drive, Monroe, was booked into Ouachita Correctional Center on charges of felony theft and criminal conspiracy.
An arrest affidavit stated police were called to Sam’s Club in reference to an employee theft. When police arrived, they spoke to a manager, who said Howard, a cashier, made 16 fraudulent transactions between May 27 and July 7.
The report stated the total amount of the transactions was about $10,060.10. Police said two unidentified men were seen on store video removing merchandise and bringing them to Howard who handled the false refund.
Howard admitted to police he made the transactions, but said he did not know the names of the two men.
Bond was not set.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. June 14 2012 – Police arrested a Walmart employee Saturday on allegations she stole over $37,000 from the big box retailer.
Judy Ocampo, 46, was arrested Saturday and charged with employee theft.
Ocampo was arrested at the Normandy Boulevard Walmart after the store found out she had been stealing money from them.
Ocampo would remove large bills from the registers and take them to make change. Instead of placing the large bills in the area they were supposed to go, she would palm the large bills, according to an arrest report from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Ocampo would then go to the bathroom where she would put the money in her pocket.
Ocampo gave a written confession to Walmart. Ocampo told police she took the money because she is depressed and addicted to pain medication, according to the report.
Ocampo told police she wants to try and pay Walmart back to make things right.
Source:First Coast News
Patricia Ann Stanz, 61, of Toledo was charged with one count each of counterfeit securities and fraudulent use of access device. She was employed as the parish business manager from August, 2007, to August, 2011.
According to court documents, Ms. Stanz is accused of creating and signing 97 checks totaling about $295,000 that she then cashed from the Gesu Parish checking account.
It is further alleged that she fraudulently used a credit card issued to Gesu Parish to obtain $230,757 in cash advances and purchases.
The alleged thefts began in June, 2008, and lasted through August, 2011, and totaled $525,757, according to court documents.
The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
“This person abused the trust of her employer and the entire congregation,” said Steven Dettelbach, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Gesu parishioners were informed about the alleged thefts in August and told earlier this year that the money totaled more than $500,000. They were assured that despite the loss, parish and school financial obligations were being met.
The Rev. Jim Cryan, pastor of the West Toledo parish, said Wednesday that he had not seen the information charging Ms. Stanz and so declined to comment. He had previously written in a letter to parishioners that parish officials had cooperated with law enforcement throughout the investigation and offered reassurance that “despite the substantial size of the fraud, our parish’s overall financial condition remains solid.”
According to a statement released Wednesday by the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, the diocesan finance office also conducted “an extensive review of the parish and school financial records” in accordance with the federal investigation.
The results of the diocesan review were shared with federal authorities. According to the statement, every parish in the diocese is subject to a periodic financial audit by the diocesan finance office and is audited whenever there is a change in pastor. The last diocesan audit at Gesu was for fiscal year 2003-2004.
Ms. Stanz could not be reached for comment. No court dates have yet been set in the case, which was assigned to Judge James Carr.
D. Michael Collins, a Toledo city councilman, former policeman, and 35-year member of Gesu Parish, said that Father Cryan asked him to be part of a small parish committee in December, 2011, to discuss policies, procedures, and criminal prosecution in wake of the alleged thefts.
Ms. Stanz allegedly used the money for gambling as well as other unauthorized personal expenses, Mr. Collins said. Being the church’s business manager, she would then write checks on the parish account to pay the bills.
The parish has a finance committee, he said, but new policies have been enacted, using a manual from the Toledo diocese, to safeguard church funds since the financial discrepancies were discovered by Fifth Third Bank and reported to the FBI in May, 2011, he said.
Mr. Collins said most Gesu parishioners were shocked and angered when they learned of the missing funds, ultimately wanting to know “how we are going to be made whole” and “whether we have insurance protection from this.” The insurance questions “are yet to be resolved,” he added.
Mr. Collins said the loss of more than half a million dollars “was a severe blow” financially to Gesu, but “the parish is holding its own, the parish is paying its bills. We will not seek financial receivership remedies.”
He said Ms. Stanz was fired as soon as the parish was notified of the missing money and is now believed to be in Tennessee.
According to documents filed in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, a case involving a home in her name on Wiler Lane in Toledo was referred to foreclosure mediation on April 26. Ms. Stanz, who has not responded to the court, was ordered to make contact by May 10.
Mr. Collins said he believes any sentence should be a long one.
“If all you get for stealing half a million dollars from an organization is a hand-slap, I think there’d be a lot of hand-slapping going on,” Mr. Collins said.
Gesu is in the process of accepting applications and interviewing prospective business managers, he said.
Atlanta GA April 25 2012 A woman has been charged in the theft of tens of thousands of dollars from the PTA and school foundation at E. Rivers Elementary School in Buckhead, Atlanta police said Monday.
Maryam Arjomand, 48, turned herself in to Atlanta police on Monday after being notified on Friday. She has been charged with felony theft by taking for allegedly stealing $57,000 in donor checks and deposits over a three-year period, said Sgt. Paul Cooper, head of APD’s major fraud unit.
Arjomand was a member of the E. Rivers PTA. Investigators allege that Arjomand would pick up donations in person, then deposit them into her personal bank account, Cooper said. Police believe she acted alone. She was booked into the Fulton County Jail Monday morning. She is scheduled for a first court appearance at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Police have turned the case over to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.
PTA Co-President Elise Lowry alerted Atlanta police to the missing money on March 7, according to an incident report obtained by the AJC. Lowry reported that an account audit by the PTA discovered missing check payments from Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.
Lowry told police that she confirmed checks in excess of $20,000 were deposited into a bank account at Signature Bank, and that a person suspected in the theft worked at the bank, according to the incident report.
Attorney Steven Dunlevie, a spokesman for Signature Bank, would only say that Arjomand worked at the bank from March 1, 2005 to April 9, 2012. He said her position was director of sales and marketing at the time that she left the bank. Dunlevie, with the Womble Carlyle firm, would not comment on why Arjomand left the bank.
Molly Epstein, a parent and PTA spokeswoman at the school at 8 Peachtree Battle Ave., had little to say about the arrest of Arjomand. “We are aware that an arrest has been made and will continue to work with authorities, investigators and our donors to account for all missing funds and ensure they are recovered,” she said. Because the investigation is ongoing, we have no other comments at this time.”
JACKSON COUNTY, MS March 31 2012 - An administrator of an Ocean Springs personal care home will serve eight years in prison for taking more than $60,000 from a elderly war veteran.
During Thursday’s sentencing, several fellow veterans came out to show support for the family of 82-year-old Donald Dahl, who has since passed away.
Assistant Attorney General Sue Perry said Melissa Elaine Webster, 41, was arrested and charged with eight counts of felony exploitation of a vulnerable adult in 2010. She ended up pleading guilty to three counts. Perry said Webster will also have to pay Dahl’s family the money she stole from their loved one.
“What happened to our father can happen to anybody if there is a person who is unethical and not honest when involved in the care of the elderly. So we are very happy,” said Dahl’s daughter, Cathy McSteen said.
The assistant attorney general said once Webster serves her eight years in prison, it will be followed by two more years of post-release supervision.
Former evidence technician for the Montgomery County Police pleads guilty to $30,000 theft www.privateofficer.com
Rockville MDMarch 19 2012 A former evidence technician for the Montgomery County Police Department pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing at least $30,000 from the department’s seized cash funds.
Suk “Brian” Ryong Yun, 38, of the 14000 block of Eagle Court in Rockville, pleaded guilty to theft over $10,000 but under $100,000 in Montgomery County Circuit Court before Judge Robert A. Greenberg. The maximum penalty for the theft charge is 15 years and a $15,000 fine, but Yun’s plea agreement states he will not be sentenced to serve more than three years, said Yun’s defense attorney, Patrick J. Smith.
“We are free to ask for even less than that and in fact we believe that the facts of the case call for a shorter sentence,” Smith said.
Yun will also be ordered to pay back the money he stole, another factor that likely led to the sentence cap, Smith said.
“Realistically, if you want to get restitution pay, you’re not going to get that while he’s in jail,” Smith said.
A representative from the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office did not return calls for comment as of Friday afternoon.
Yun, a civilian employee working as an evidence technician for the department, was arrested Oct. 24 after discrepancies between police computer records and actual cash holdings were discovered during an audit of the department’s evidence accounts, police said.
An investigation into the missing money found at least 21 different transactions Yun made to illegally take money from the department’s evidence holdings, which ordinarily go to the county and state once detectives are certain the money was not seized from an innocent person, police said.
Yun was placed on administrative leave after his arrest, but left employment with the county shortly before his plea was filed, said Angela Cruz, a county police spokeswoman.
“Mr. Yun separated from the county on March 9,” Cruz said, explaining she could not specify under what circumstances Yun left or if he was fired.
AURORA, Colo. March 11 2012– A vault worker at an Aurora armored car company said he took $50,000, but his plan to gamble with it, keep the winnings and return the cash backfired.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” said Shane Marquardt, 23, of Lakewood. “I thought I needed it more than they did, and now I’m paying the price.”
For the past two years, Marquardt said, he had been a model employee for Loomis Armored in Aurora, working as a vault manager.
He said the company had no idea his gambling addiction had gotten out of control, and that he was about to lose everything.
Marquardt spoke to 7NEWS reporter Jaclyn Allen from inside the Adams County Jail, where he said he has plenty of time to think about how he got there.
On Thursday, Feb. 9, he said that he realized he didn’t have enough money to pay his bills after his paycheck was garnished by creditors.
“I was paying my bills with my credit cards and using my cash to gamble,” said Marquardt. “Push came to shove, and I thought I had found a way out.”
At Loomis Armored, he said, he had access to large sums of money and a brief window of opportunity. He said he made a plan on Feb. 9 and carried it out the next day.
“I had it in my brain how I could make it work, all the way down to which bag I could take in particular to where it could work where I could put it back,” said Marquardt.
Court records obtained by 7NEWS state that Marquardt was seen on video putting $50,000 in his cargo pants pocket when he was alone for about 10 seconds in the vault.
Then, Marquardt said, he went to Blackhawk, going to one casino after another to gamble with the stolen cash.
His plan, he said, had been to keep the winnings from blackjack and other games, but put back the $50,000 before anyone noticed it was missing.
“I can’t even tell you how I lost that much money in two days with $100 betting limit,” said Marquardt. “I went from casino to casino so no one would get suspicious.”
He said he didn’t sleep that Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, gambling every night.
Records show when Loomis managers called him about the missing money that Monday, he confessed, handing over what was left, only $5,300.
He has been arrested on felony theft charges.
“I feel terrible,” said Marquardt. “I have disappointed so many people. This has taken everything from me. So, it’s definitely the biggest mistake in my life. But I intend to take responsibility. I will pay restitution and do what I need to do to be a good citizen.”
Marquardt said he started gambling when he turned 21, and the addiction has destroyed his life. He hopes his story serves as a cautionary tale.
Records show he sometimes gambled with another Loomis employee, and Marquardt owed that person $400 for gambling loans.
“People always go up there thinking they can turn it into more than it is, and it never happens,” he said.
He said he plans to plead guilty, take responsibility for his actions and contact Gamblers Anonymous.
Loomis Armored did not respond to the 7NEWS request for comment.
ASHEVILLE NC Jan 21 2012 — A guard at an Arden armored car company is facing an embezzlement charge after police say he stole $20,000 in cash.
Paul Russell Webb, 66, is accused of taking the money from Loomis Fargo Trucking on Glenbridge Road earlier this month.
Asheville police got involved after company security began investigating missing money, Asheville police Lt. Wally Welch said.
About a week after the investigation began, Webb returned the money and told officers he took it to “prove a point about lax security” at the business, Welch said.
He was charged with embezzlement Wednesday.
Webb was released on a written promise to appear in court.
Clarkstown NY Dec 22 2011 Two employees of the Victoria’s Secret store at Palisades Center mall have been arrested in connection with the theft of $58,000 worth of merchandise and a third employee is being sought, according to Clarkstown police.
Loss prevention staff for Victoria’s Secret told Clarkstown police on Monday that an internal investigation had revealed the theft of mechandise from a storage room over the last six months at the West Nyack store.
Police said Shavon Pressley, 22, of New City, and Emanuel Jumenez, 24, of Ganerville were arrested on charges of fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony. They were released pending a Jan. 11, 2011, hearing in Clarkstown Town Court in New City.
The third person sought in the investigation has not yet been arrested. Police said the investigation into the thefts is continuing.
COLUMBIA, SC DEC 11 2011 - Two Loomis Fargo employees stand accused of stealing $70,000 from the armored car company according to the Columbia Police Department.
Authorities say 28-year-old Bernard Ray Fields and 23-year-old James Demetrius Brevard have been charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent and conspiracy.
Police Chief Randy Scott says the pair was supposed to deliver the money to a retail store. When the money did not arrive, law enforcement officials were called.
The money was eventually located in two halves. One half was found buried underneath a dog house on Juniper Street in Columbia while the other half was found at a house in Camden.
Fields and Brevard are being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
BELLINGHAM WA Dec 4 2011 – An employee of the Macy’s at Bellis Fair mall has been arrested on suspicion of stealing more than $17,000 in gift cards and merchandise from the store.
Victoria Zinkova-Barnhill, 27, was accused of stealing the majority of the property – about $14,000 worth – through a scheme where her mother, Anna Zinkova, would bring in old, unusable items and trade them for a receipt saying she’d brought back new items, according to an affidavit filed by the Whatcom County Prosecutor’s Office.
Zinkova-Barnhill would then grab new items from the store, scan them as a return and then scan them as a sale at an inflated price, the affidavit says. Her mother would walk out with the new items and the receipt. The old items were discarded as damaged, while the new items were taken to another Macy’s store where they were exchanged for a gift card at the inflated price.
A loss prevention manager at Macy’s found evidence of 45 suspicious exchanges, without a valid proof of purchase, dating back to October 2010. Zinkova-Barnhill had been working at the store for about five years.
She was also accused of making up several thousand dollars worth of gift cards without paying for them and fraudulently overriding prices for some items. She signed a statement confessing to the fraud shortly before she was arrested Nov. 11, according to the affidavit. Prosecutors also allege that security camera footage shows Zinkova-Barnhill making fraudulent transactions.
Macy’s officials declined to comment on the pending case. They also declined to comment on Zinkova-Barnhill’s employment status.
Whatcom County Prosecutor Dave McEachran said he might also bring charges against Anna Zinkova.
In a plea deal in December 2010, Zinkova admitted guilt to embezzling about $5,000 when she worked as a bookkeeper at the Bellingham-based Pacific International Grout Company.
Zinkova, who had originally been charged five years earlier with stealing more than $100,000 from the concrete company, was given a 45-day jail sentence and ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution. Insurance covered the company’s loss.
Panther Creek Consolidated Independent School District employee charged in $200,000 theft www.privateofficer.com
VALERA, Texas Nov 30 2011 – A former Panther Creek Consolidated Independent School District employee has been arrested for theft.
According to the Coleman County Sheriff’s Office, Lori Sparks allegedly stole more than $200,000 from the school district.
Sparks was the business manager at the district. District administrators said Sparks worked for Panther Creek for five years.
In a statement, Superintendent Dwin Nanny said:
“Panther Creek ISD has learned that a former district employee may have engaged in financial criminal wrong-doing. That employee is no longer with the district, and the matter was turned over to law enforcement. The district has learned that this former employee was recently indicted by a grand jury. Because this is an ongoing criminal matter, the district will allow the judicial process to take its course and will not further comment on the matter. While Panther Creek ISD is fully cooperating with law enforcement, we will continue to keep as our priority providing the best possible educational programs and services to our students. As always, we thank the community for its support.”
Nanny later told KTXS on camera that they were notified by auditors of some possible criminal financial wrong-doing, so they turned the issue over to authorities.
This news has left many Panther Creek parents shocked. One lady, who did not want to be identified, said “it is a shame that it happened in such a small district.”
Jennifer Short has taught at the high school for four years.
“It’s a real unfortunate incident. I hate that it’s happened in the district. It really makes me sad for the tax payers and especially the students,” Short told KTXS.
She said it is hard hearing the news since she is not only a teacher, but also a parent and a tax payer.
“It just really makes me sad that it happened,” Short said.
The superintendent also told KTXS they are still recovering from losing $90,000 in state funding and now the loss of $200,000 will hurt the district even more.
“We’ve really been hit hard with all the cuts in the legislature already and to think about this happening it’s been hard,” Short explained.
Sparks was arrested on school grounds on November 18th. She is currently out of jail on a $15,000 bond.
Kerry D. Johnson was fired Oct. 6 from her $61,800-a-year job as business manager at the U of L athletic ticket office after she was named the sole suspect in the theft of $96,228 from the U of L Athletic Association, according to university records and police incident reports .
University police have turned over the case to Commonwealth Attorney Dave Stengel’s office and expect charges to be filed, assistant U of L police chief Kenny Brown said.
The Johnson investigation comes after a string of incidents involving university employees misappropriating money.
The university had already taken steps to shore up controls, such as retraining higher-level employees on procedures. In addition, a task force appointed by U of L President James Ramsey is expected to issue recommendations soon for further controls focusing largely on the use of university credit cards, U of L spokesman Mark Hebert said.
Hebert the latest incident with the athletic department is disappointing, but it has not prompted additional reform efforts.
“It’s unacceptable that a handful of our more than 6,000 employees have violated the public trust,” he said in a prepared statement. “But when anyone at U of L violates that trust, we will catch them, fire them and prosecute them, just as we’ve been doing.”
Johnson was fired from her job at the U of L ticket office three months after she was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on a felony charge of trafficking in the pain-reliever hydrocodone, a controlled substance.
On April 15, law enforcement officers watched as Steven R. Allen carried a small cardboard box filled with cash out of Johnson’s office at the U of L Student Activities Center on Floyd Street and bought $2,750 worth of Loratab pills in the parking lot of a nearby McDonald’s, according to Jefferson Circuit Court records.
With brand names such as Loratab and Vicodin, hydrocodone is the most frequently prescribed opiate in the United States, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Legitimately used for pain relief and cough suppression, the drug is nearly as potent as morphine and often abused with alcohol, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Allen, who is also charged in the case, told officers he bought pills on Johnson’s behalf weekly, including the 500 Loratabs he purchased that day in a controlled buy set up by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA.
Allen then allowed officers to record a phone call in which he tried to arrange a way to get the pills to Johnson, according to a report from the Kentuckiana Criminal Interdiction Unit, a component of the sheriff’s office.
Johnson, 48, of Charlestown, Ind., and Allen, 39, of Louisville’s Portland neighborhood, are negotiating plea deals with the Commonwealth Attorney’s office on the drug charges, according to court records.
But Gary Stewart, Johnson’s attorney, said a deal with prosecutors on the drug charges might be delayed if new charges are filed against Johnson in the theft investigation.
“We were working something out when this other issue arose,” he said. “We need to wait and see what becomes of that (theft) investigation.”
He declined to say anything more or to make Johnson available for an interview.
Leland Hulbert, spokesman for the Commonwealth Attorney’s office, confirmed that prosecutors have received the ticket-office theft case and are “investigating it for possible charges.”
Johnson’s Oct. 6 termination letter from U of L says she failed to follow university rules related to “cash handling” and “timely cash deposits” and that she “engaged in substandard and inaccurate record keeping.”
Brown declined to explain how police think the alleged theft — which occurred between July 8, 2010, and Aug. 31, 2011, according to police incident reports — took place.
“Basically, money comes in, and money goes out,” Brown said. “And there’s people responsible for taking that money and making sure its in a secure place, and then ultimately put in an account some place.”
Athletics officials discovered the alleged theft “through an internal review that began in late August,” Athletics Association spokesman Kenny Klein said in a prepared statement. “No evidence exists at this time to support that more than one person is involved.”
The athletics department would have no further comment, the statement said.
Johnson’s termination letter also says she “admitted involvement in a drug transaction” — violating her employment contract by putting the university in a negative light.
Johnson joined U of L in 1995 as a $17,284-a-year program assistant at the Speed School of Engineering, then moved to the School of Medicine, the Bursar’s office and the College of Education, according to university records.
She joined the athletic department in 2006 as program coordinator in the ticket office for $46,000 a year.
U of L’s problems with employee theft first came to light in 2008 with the case of Robert Felner, U of L’s former education dean, who is serving a 63-month prison sentence.
Felner pleaded guilty last year in U.S. District Court in Louisville to fraud, money laundering and tax evasion in the theft of $2.3 million from U of L and two other institutions.
Most recently, a university audit completed in August accused a former senior program coordinator in the College of Business of stealing more than $463,000 from the Equine Industry Program. That case has been turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s office, but no charges have been filed.
TAMPA FLA Nov 4 2011 A bookkeeper who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Hillsborough County technical center pleaded guilty today to grand theft and official misconduct – concealing or destroying records.
Dianne Parker, 57, was sentenced to two years of a restrictive form of probation, to be followed by 20 additional years of probation, state attorney’s spokesman Mark Cox said.
Parker also has to pay $300,000 in restitution and attend gambling counseling, Cox said.
In 2009, the Hillsborough County school district said Parker took nearly $600,000 from a training program where she worked for 30 years. The district said Parker made deposits for Erwin Technical Center in amounts less than she received and then pocketed the difference.
The money includes routine payments students brought to Parker for outside work they did in fields such as floral arranging and cosmetology, the district said.
Cash, checks and money orders amounting to $582,659 were taken from the school district, according to the district.
Hillsborough County deputies arrested Parker on warrants in September 2009.
“We have great employees; this is a betrayal of the public trust that is unacceptable,” school district Superintendent MaryEllen Elia said in 2009.
Tallahassee Fla Aug 28 2011 An English teacher at Chiles High School has been charged with stealing at least $150,000 from the school’s yearbook account, said John Hunkiar, Leon County School District chief of safety, security and emergency management.
Tammy Bennett, 52, was arrested Friday on charges of grand theft and organizing a scheme to defraud, Hunkiar said.
An internal audit led to a criminal investigation earlier this summer. Bennett was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.
A warrant was obtained, and Bennett turned herself in at the Leon County Sheriff’s Office on Friday afternoon, Hunkiar said.
A probable cause affidavit was not available Friday.
The district will immediately initiate termination proceedings and will be looking for full restitution, Hunkiar said.
While there are no other charges in the case, Hunkiar said, the district will continue to follow up on every detail surrounding the theft.
Chiles Principal Alan Cox said that Bennett’s actions — which Hunkiar said began five years ago — were unexpected. She had been at the school since it opened 12 years ago and was yearbook sponsor in addition to an English instructor, Cox said.
Bennett was booked Friday afternoon into the Leon County Jail. She could not be reached for comment.
WOODSTOCK IL May 8 2011 – Bond was reduced Thursday morning for a Marengo woman accused of taking more than $30,000 from her employers.
Jo Knake, 56, had her bond reduced from $75,000 to $25,000; 10 percent must be posted for her to be released. Knake was charged with nine counts of felony theft, the most serious of which is a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison.
Knake, who also has a misdemeanor theft conviction from 1990, allegedly stole from three related paving companies for which she worked, prosecutors said. She would give herself unauthorized raises and use checks without permission, they said.
According to court documents, Knake allegedly stole $14,313 in wages from October 2007 to November 2009, plus thousands more in wages and $13,150 in business expense checks from that same period.
She also is accused of ordering items such as a golf ball gift set and princess doll set through LTD Commodities.
Knake’s next scheduled court date is May 31.
POMPANO BEACH Fla May 1 2011A woman who worked at a service station on Florida’s Turnpike was charged with grand theft of $89,000 from the business.
Ida-Marie Klohr, 32, of Pompano Beach, worked at the Shell gas station at turnpike mile marker 65 in Pompano Beach when, the Florida Highway Patrol says, she stole the money by altering paperwork for the business from July 2010 through December 2010.
Klohr was arrested April 13 and charged with grand theft, a second-degree felony, and was released on bond.
She worked for Florida Turnpike Services, a private corporation that leases all of the Shell service stations along that highway from the state, said Nichole Kalil, a Florida’s Turnpike spokeswoman.
Police identified the suspect as Robert Alex Harlan, 49, a former Drake employee. Harlan had worked at Drake for more than 20 years. For about the past 10 years he had been director of student accounts.
It’s unclear when Harlan stopped working for Drake. An email sent to Drake faculty and staff this week suggested Harlan had worked for the university until recently. Drake officials referred questions to Des Moines police.
Harlan was not in custody Friday when officials made an announcement about the charges. Police said they were talking to Harlan’s attorney about when the suspect will turn himself in.
The embezzlement apparently dates to 2004, but the official investigation went back five years, police said. The police case that started the probe is dated March 28.
Des Moines Police Sgt. Chris Scott said Harlan was being charged with five counts of first-degree theft, one for each year of five years he allegedly was embezzling money. The charges are Class C felonies, punishable by up to 10 years in prison on each count.
Police Detective Lt. Mark Morgan and Detective Tarry Pote said investigators were not looking for any other suspects in the case.
They said Drake officials determined there was a shortage and then asked for an audit.
The audit determined that much more money had been taken.
“He was signing off on money to pay people – bills,” Morgan said. “Money that was supposedly owed to other people. … It was a shell game with figures. He knew the accounting system well enough to move the shells around.”
Police said that they had interviewed Harlan and that he was cooperating.
Investigators still are looking into Harlan’s bank records. The amount of money that is recoverable isn’t known, police said.
Harlan lives on Des Moines’ west side. A woman who answered the door at the house Friday declined to comment.
Police said the case represents one of the largest embezzlement investigations they’d worked on in recent years.
A university official, in an email to staff this week, wrote that the university was working to strengthen internal controls to prevent the future misappropriation of funds.