September 17, 2019

Accountants Behaving Badly: Stealing From Nonprofit, Stealing From Restaurant, Stealing From Furniture Business

Plus, CPA for reality television stars indicted and accountant arrested for stalking woman.

Accounting coordinator at non-profit facing fraud charges for embezzling $321K in organization funds [Justice Department]
Danielle Strother-Rush, an accounting coordinator at a Pittsburgh-area nonprofit organization, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh Aug. 6 on charges of bank fraud and mail fraud.

From approximately August 2014 until August 2016, Strother-Rush committed bank fraud and mail fraud in order to embezzle $321,000 from her employer, Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council, a nonprofit organization that assists with creating business opportunities for minority-owned supply companies.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Strother-Rush allegedly embezzled the money by forging her supervisor’s signature on checks and withdrawing company money from ATMs.

If found guilty, she faces a maximum sentence of 30 years for each count of bank fraud and 20 years for each count of mail fraud. She also faces fines of $1 million for bank fraud and $250,000 for mail fraud.

Ocala accountant gets probation in theft of $36K from restaurant [Ocala Star-Banner]
Steven Cabrera, an accountant from Ocala, FL, was sentenced to four years of probation on Aug. 16 after he pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from an Ocala restaurant.

Steven Cabrera

Cabrera, 37, must complete 100 hours of community service, pay fines and court costs, have no contact with the victims, and stay away from the restaurant, Mesa De Notte Ristorante.

The restaurant’s owners said Cabrera had been the accountant for them since 2010 and that a $36,812.22 check for their business was deposited into his account, not the restaurant’s. The owners said the money was a refund for overpayment of payroll taxes in 2016.

Former Eagle Industries accountant accused of stealing from company [Bowling Green Daily News]
Susan Sutherland, a former accountant who worked for Eagle Industries in Bowling Green, KY, was arrested on Aug. 15 after an investigation into stolen funds.

Sutherland, 56, who worked at the custom furniture maker from June 2016 until this month, was arrested at her residence on a count of theft by unlawful taking ($10,000 or more but less than $1 million).

A review of financial records uncovered payments from a company account to a bank account connected to Sutherland. The amount taken exceeded $128,000, according to court records.

USA Network stars Todd and Julie Chrisley indicted on tax evasion charges [CBS News]
And their accountant was indicted too!

A federal grand jury in Atlanta on Tuesday [Aug. 13] indicted reality television stars Todd and Julie Chrisley on charges including tax evasion, alleging among other things that they tried to hide their income from “Chrisley Knows Best” from the IRS. Todd Chrisley posted on Instagram on Monday a denial of any wrongdoing and alleged a former employee was “stealing from us big time.”

The 12-count indictment also accuses the pair of conspiracy, bank fraud and wire fraud.

Accountant Peter Tarantino, 56, was charged in the indictment with conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding the filing of a false tax return. A woman who answered the phone at his office outside Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon said he was with a client and would have no comment.

Peter Tarantino

Ah, the old, “Can’t talk, with a client” ploy.

The scheme, which lasted from 2007 to 2012, involved submitting fake bank and financial statements to financial institutions to get loans worth millions, “much of which they used for their own personal benefit,” the indictment states.

Tarantino, a CPA, helped the Chrisleys hide income and lie about their tax returns, according to the indictment.

You can read the release from the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia here.

Accountant held for online stalking, threatening woman [Times of India]
Trimbak Giri, a 38-year-old accountant, was arrested on Aug. 13 for stalking a woman online and threatening her.

Giri and the victim first met on Facebook and exchanged phone numbers and kept in touch through WhatsApp. He told the woman that he was in love with her and sent her sexually explicit photos. He asked the woman to send similar photos of herself, and when she refused, he threatened to rape and defame her.

Giri continued to stalk her online and forced the woman into sending sexually explicit photos of herself. After receiving the pics, he began to blackmail her.

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