Thou shalt not steal

CPA Given Five Years to Think on ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’

California CPA Donald Gridiron was sentenced to 57 months in prison for stealing more than $4 million from a New Jersey church and another nonprofit where he served as treasurer. Gridiron was also ordered to pay $5.1 in restitution. Apparently this all happened when some friendly bets on the golf course spiraled into something slightly […]

Accounting News Roundup: ‘Quarterly Capitalism’ and Bitcoin Ransoms | 07.27.15

Hillary Clinton Seeks End to 'Quarterly Capitalism' [Bloomberg]HRC wants to increase short-term capital gains taxes as well as "better policing of shareholder activism and stock buybacks." Imagine your lives without 10-Qs [via BloombergView] Easiest fix to quarterly capitalism: do earnings reports annually instead of quarterly. — Matt! (@mattyglesias) July 24, 2015 Blackstone Names Michael Chae […]

Accountant on Probation for Embezzlement Still More Employable Than the Average Non-Accountant (Temporarily)

Generally speaking, accountants are in demand. So much so, perhaps, that prospective employers might overlook small details when hiring one, such as that accountant still being on probation for stealing from a former employer. That's exactly (allegedly) what happened with 39-year-old Michelle Hice. You see, Michelle was fired from a third-party accounting firm in October […]

Today in Questionable Business Expenses: A $100,000 Motor Home for Dogs

Anyone that's ever had the pleasure of being exposed to any batshit crazy televangelists have not only thought, "Why, God, why?" but also, "I bet they're totally ripping people off," or "He probably frequents hookers." And you'd be right! Today in PTL shenanigans, we have Paul and Janice Crouch who are part of the Trinity […]

Imagine, If You Can, Someone Taking Advantage of a Lack of Oversight at a Roman Catholic Archdiocese

Hard to believe, right?! Well, a "quiet unassuming woman" named Anita Collins spent the last eight years stealing $1 million from the Archdiocese of New York. Funny story! Ms. Collins has been known to have sticky fingers in the past, pleading guilty to grand larceny in 1999 and a misdemeanor charge in 1986. How did […]

Vermont Is a Hotbed of Embezzling Embezzlers

Ahh, Vermont. Foliage, second-rated skiing, and, of course, hippies. But apparently, the Green Mountain should be known for something else – stealing from your employer! According to Marquet International Ltd., Vermont "Vermont topped the list of states with highest risk for loss due to embezzlement in 2011." What's the reason for this? Well, it's not […]

Pretend CPA Is a Real Menace to Society, Says Pretend Doctor

Tamara Tunie – aka the medical examiner in Law & Order SVU – lost well over $1 million when her business manager and accountant Joseph Cilibrasi stole her money that she earned from a long acting career. Now, I know what you're thinking, "She's on TV, she's got plenty of money." Well, yes, she is […]

Accountant with Frightening Mugshot Pleads Guilty

Remember this guy?

If you recall, Hector Sanchez swiped $40k from his church to spend in “casinos and restaurants” which is arguably the lamest thing you could do with forty large of a God’s money. What about spending it on a facial to soften that nice bone structure? Yeesh.

Ex-church accountant pleads guilty to stealing $40,000; some of the money spent in casinos and restaurants, officials say [NJ.com]

PwC Report Shocker: Consumers Who Pirate Video Are ‘Enticed by Free Content’

If you can believe that.

[A]ccording to a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), those lessons don’t relate well to a generation of broadband mobile users who still prefer to go searching for free content rather than pay even the smallest price.

“Many consumers who say they commit online piracy are enticed by free content” despite having access to “an astonishing variety of movies videos and television shows–on multiple platforms–faster than ever before,” the report concludes.

The report’s key findings are topped by the fact that 81 percent of surveyed consumers say they will continue pirating video despite concerns about computer viruses, the legality of their actions and inferior quality/fidelity of the content. It also reported a crossover effect in that “40 percent of those who report pirating content via traditional methods said they will probably also pirate on mobile devices within the next six months.”

PwC: Video pirates “enticed by free content” [FierceCable]
The speed of life [PwC]

Busy Season Problem Du Jour: The Kleptomaniac Co-worker

Today’s round of minor irritations from our British sister from another mister:

Further to the “snorting employee” post, any ideas on how to deal with a colleague who goes into my desk drawers to get labels and paper clips and the like, when I am actually sitting at my desk?

They are a relatively new employee and I have been showing them some aspects of how to do their job. It is really my own fault for not stopping them when they started doing it, but now it really irritates me and I’m not sure of the most painless way to deal with it other than to just tell them to stop and use their own drawers! I hate any kind of confrontation, especially since we have to sit next to each other.

Any diplomatic ideas?

I don’t know about you all but diplomacy just doesn’t fly over here in States, so an accounting firm version of the Bush Doctrine seems to be the way to go. Let’s kick a few ideas around shall we?

When your fellow cube farmer comes digging around your drawer do you:

A) Allow them to find the item they need and walk back to their desk, wait five minutes, then proceed to their workspace and violently snatch said item off their desk/out of their hand?

B) Calmly get up with your beverage of choice in hand, walk over to the offender’s cube and pour the contents of your drinking receptacle on their computer?

C) Belch in their face?

D) Do a full spin in your aeron chair and crush their hand/wrist/lower arm in the drawer?

E) Your ideas

California Church Accountant Who May Have Stolen $2 Mil Pleads Not Guilty

For the very last time: just because you are a non-profit does not mean you can operate recklessly with minimal internal controls and/or no controls at all.

Case in point, this Fresno church accounting manager who may have stolen $2 million from the church she spent 13 years working for.


51 year-old Sandra Arreola pleaded not guilty last Friday to charges that she borrowed $2.1 million from church tithes and offerings and used the money for properties, bills, vacations and clothing. Pastor Mike Robertson of Visalia First Assembly of God Church says the church noticed about two years ago that something was fishy with Arreola’s accounting. “A few regularities began to surface while testing the payroll system. Additional discrepancies in the handling of contributions came to light as a result of a further internal investigation in conjunction with a forensic audit.”

Of course, had the church been in the practice of doing regular audits in the first place (or at least open to some really reasonable internal control suggestions), it wouldn’t have to call the cops on its trusted employee and send her to jail over $2 million. Robertson says the church’s insurance policy will recover some of that money but that’s not the point. The church has since installed security cameras “to prevent fraud” – not exactly the sort of proactive stance we support around here.

Church member Becky Maze had only nice things to say about our little crook, saying Arreola was “always willing to help” and “a lovely hostess. One of the things she was well-known for was liking to have a tea for the women, and making the little cookies and desserts — the froufrou kind of things.”

Froufrou isn’t cheap, you know. There’s your motive.

Sandy is a fan of “I GAVE IT TO GOD” on Facebook, which makes us wonder if that’s where she’ll tell us the money went when she’s grilled during her trial.

Just goes to show that the religious and God-fearing might be exempt when it comes to taxes but not when it comes to the temptation to take when motive, opportunity and/or rationalization are at work. Hallelujah!

Church accountant accused of embezzling more than $2 million [The Fresno Bee]

Accountant Mugshot of the Day

An accountant for a Jersey City church was arrested today on charges he swindled the house of worship out of more than $40,000 by pocketing tax payments and spending some of the money in casinos and restaurants, officials said.

“A bond of trust has allegedly been broken with these parishioners,” said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio of the charges against Hector L. Sanchez, 59, of Jersey City.

The accountant for the Fountain of Salvation Christian Church on Communipaw Avenue was arrested in South Orange this morning and charged with theft by failure to make required disposition, DeFazio said.

Wouldn’t think it to look at the guy.

Jersey City man accused of stealing $40K from church funds [NJ.com]

Former Pastor Figures Eighth Commandment Is Overrated, Steals from Nonprofit

It takes a certain kind of person to defraud a non-profit organization. In a word: scumbag. Now consider the idea of a pastor of a church defrauding a non-profit organization. A non-profit organization that is tasked with providing cash and food for those in dire need. This person would be David Croyle, the former pastor of Stahl Mennonite Church in Johnstown, PA.

Croyle embezzled around $18,000 from St. Francis Sharing and Caring Inc. from 2005 to 2008. We figure he Either came to the conclusion that doing the Good Lord’s work was incredibly overrated or that he just plain needed the money. Seriously though, $18k? Did he really want a slightly used Honda Civic or something?


Regardless of the motive, Croyle has been charged with “56 counts each of theft by deception, failure to make required disposition of funds, theft and receiving stolen property,” according to the Daily American.

Part of Croyle’s duties at St. Francis was to determine eligible individuals, so he created C&A Management Services. Magically this company was “eligible” and then he requested checks payable to the company. Eventually someone found this a little fishy and hired Wessel & Co. a local accounting firm who discovered the embezzlement.

Somewhere God is shaking his head and somewhere else entirely, Sue Sachdeva is thinking, “Was this guy even trying?”

Police: pastor swindled nonprofit [Daily American]