3 New Embezzlement Stories


Here is another small non-profit organization victimized by poor internal controls and bad management. Good management does not tolerate bad internal controls.

BOLTON, Conn. (AP) _ Bolton police say the former president of a public access TV station embezzled nearly $380,000 since 2007.

The Journal Inquirer reports that Deborah Hilton of Bolton surrendered to state police on Tuesday and was arraigned in Vernon Superior Court.

Hilton’s lawyer, Matthew Potter, argued at her arraignment for her to be released on a promise to appear in court, saying she has no criminal history. She was released on $25,000 bond.

Hilton is accused of using her father’s credit card to pay Community Voice Channel expenses after draining its bank accounts.

The Community Voice Channel is viewed in Andover, Bolton, Ellington, Hebron, Marlborough, Tolland and Vernon.

Hilton denied to police any impropriety but said the signatures on cash withdrawal slips were hers. She also denied making related cash deposits into her personal bank accounts.


Here is another “trusted employee” who took advantage of that trust. Happens every single day. Trust is not an internal control!

STRATFORD — Last year Ray Martin Jr., owner of the nearly 70-year-old Martin’s News on Barnum Avenue, announced that he was turning over the ownership of the local landmark to his three loyal employees.

But it turns out one of them wasn’t so loyal after all.

On Tuesday police arrested Kris Kuchta, 48, who has worked at Martin’s News for 29 years, and charged him with stealing more than $100,000 from the store over a 10-year period.

“He really did a job on the store,” said Martin, who declined to discuss the specifics of the case while it is pending. “He did significant damage.”

Kuchta, of Kings Row, was charged with first-degree larceny and was released pending arraignment Oct. 16 in Superior Court.

Last December, Martin, whose family has run the store since 1943, announced he was turning it over to Kuchta, Chris Mierzejewski and Ken Siksay.

“It’s a family business and these guys are like family to me,” said Martin at the time. “Quite frankly, they’ve been loyal for so long and it was the right time in my life to let go of the business, and giving it to them seemed like the right thing to do.”

In a subsequent interview, Kuchta, who had worked at the store since graduating high school, said: “This is my home away from home.”

But on Tuesday Martin said Kuchta is now out the door as a result of what he did.

“The other two guys need a lot of support to keep the place going now, they are trying to turn things around after what happened,” he said.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, over the past few months Martin noticed that cash on hand at the store was not matching the books. He also found they were $50,000 behind in making payments to their largest vendor.

When police confronted Kuchta, the affidavit states that he confessed he had been taking about $300 a week from the store for the past 10 years. He related that he would pocket the proceeds from each sale of cartons of cigarettes and that he had used the money to support his gambling habit, the affidavit states.

“It’s a rather bizarre set of facts and we will be proceeding very slowly through the courts to ensure a fair and just result,” said Kuchta’s lawyer, Michael Fitzpatrick.

And one more trusted employee, Executive Director of another non-profit organization.
Plainfield, Conn. —

A Plainfield man was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for embezzling more than $348,000 from a Willimantic non-profit, according to the US Attorney for Connecticut.

William Lavimoniere, 52, embezzled the money while working as the former chief financial officer of Project Genesis Inc., which serves Connecticut adults and children with disabilities. In addition to the jail term, he was also given three years of supervised release and ordered to make full restitution to Project Genesis by Judge Robert Chatigny. He also was ordered to pay $176,448.75 in back taxes and interest, as well as any applicable penalties, to the IRS.

From approximately June 2008 to September 2011, Lavimoniere embezzled corporate funds by using Project Genesis’s internal accounting software to keep certain terminated employees on the payroll after their official date of termination, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office.

He would then transfer the fired employee’s salary to one of three of his personal bank accounts. Lavimoniere also disguised electronic funds transfers to his personal bank accounts as payments to the United States Treasury or to various vendors and used the embezzled funds to pay for his living, travel, entertainment and home improvement expenses.

In addition, Lavimoniere failed to file federal individual tax returns for the 2008 through 2010 tax years and did not pay taxes on his legitimate income from Project Genesis, the embezzled income and income from a separate business he owned and operated.

In order to cover up the source of the embezzled money, Lavimoniere reclassified some of the embezzled funds as expenses on the annual informational Form 990s that Project Genesis filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the US Attorney’s Office said.

On May 9, LAVIMONIERE pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, one count of failure to file a tax return and one count of aiding or assisting in the filing of a false tax return. He was ordered to pay full restitution to Project Genesis and its insurance carrier.

This matter was investigated by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael W. Ahearn.




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