September 17, 2019

Accountants Behaving Badly: Fraudsters Go to Court and Prison Time For Stalking Ex

Plus, a Maryland CPA and a California CPA both get jail time for embezzlement.

Newton accountant charged with wire fraud and filling false tax return [U.S. Justice Department]
Jeffrey Kellem, an accountant from Newton, MA, was charged with four counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return on Aug. 5 in a Boston federal court.

Jeffrey Kellem

From December 2016 through February 2018, Kellem, 49, used his position as an accountant for an elderly client and the estate of a deceased client to steal more than approximately $1.6 million for his own use. Kellem allegedly transferred his clients’ funds, without their authorization, to bank accounts he opened and controlled.

Kellem also failed to report more than $500,000 in income from the funds he took on his tax returns. As a result, in 2017, Kellem avoided paying taxes totaling more than $150,000.

The charge of wire fraud carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, and forfeiture. The charge of filing a false tax return carries a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.

Accountant, 72, guilty of defrauding Bath company of £13,000 [SomersetLive]
Gervase O’Donovan, an accountant in Bath, England, was sentenced to a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, for defrauding a company of £13,000.

O’Donovan, 72, appeared in Bath Magistrates Court on July 31 after indicating a guilty plea to the charge of fraud.

Official court documents say O’Donovan was guilty of a “severe abuse of trust in a responsible, professional position.” His prison sentence was suspended because of his age and because “rehabilitation can be best served in the community,” the court registers added.

‘Controlling’ stalker so obsessed with ex that he enrolled on her college course [BirminghamLive]
Accountant Hassan Javed was jailed for 18 months for harassing his ex-girlfriend, including turning up at her place of work, college, and home, as well as bombarding her with messages on social media.

Hassan Javed

His behavior became so “overwhelming” it caused the victim to drop out of college, the court heard.

She began an apprenticeship and attended a college course one day a week, but Javed turned up in the same class before he was eventually removed.

The victim blocked Javed on her cellphone but he set up different Instagram accounts to message her and also managed to contact her by phone. Some of the messages were abusive and indicated he was jealous, the court heard.

Christina Carrier

Pittsville woman sentenced for embezzling more than $100K from employer [WMDT-TV]
Christina Carrier, a CPA from Pittsville, MD, was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison, with all but one suspended, along with five years probation after being convicted of theft earlier this year.

Carrier, 37, embezzled more than $100,000 from her employer, Sherwood of Salisbury, between October 2016 and March 2018.

She pleaded guilty back in April to one count of theft over $100,000.

Volunteer pleads guilty to stealing almost $1 million from Long Beach center, youth soccer league [Long Beach Post]
Jose Urrutia, CPA, a former volunteer treasurer for a merchant seaman organization in Long Beach, CA, and a youth soccer league in Anaheim, CA, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison last month for embezzling nearly $1 million.

Jose Urrutia

Urrutia, 65, of Placentia, pleaded guilty on July 18 to 167 counts of forgery and 14 counts of grand theft, with sentencing-enhancement allegations of property damage exceeding $200,000 and aggravated white-collar crime of more than $500,000.

He was ordered to pay about $805,000 in restitution. So far, Urrutia has repaid $145,913.41. Investigators determined the total loss in the case was $951,816.19.

Urrutia, whose full-time job was as a financial reporting controls officer at the Port of Long Beach, was arrested on Sept. 6, 2018.

During the time of the alleged embezzlement, he was a volunteer treasurer for the Junior United Soccer Association of Anaheim and the International Seafarers Center in Long Beach.

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