Would you know if your business had a ‘ghost’ employee? Perhaps you wouldn’t if your business had a large roster of employees. That’s why the businesses in this true-crime didn’t notice their ghost employee for six years.
The 41-year-old woman provided payroll and tax preparation services to several businesses. She didn’t have direct access to her clients’ bank accounts, but her level of access did provide a pathway through payroll services for her to create ghost employees. Then she paid herself along with the other employees.
Her money laundering scheme may have gone on longer if she hadn’t misrepresented that she’d paid state and federal taxes for the businesses. Besides this crime-busting blunder, she also wrote checks payable to her 65-year-old mother—her mother had been in on the scheme.
When one of the business owners reached out to the IRS, the fraud came to light. The authorities arrested the accountant and her mother. Later, they both accepted plea agreements.
The accountant’s mother pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. A judge sentenced her to eight months of home confinement, five years of probation, and ordered her to pay over $48,000 in restitution.
The accountant (a.k.a. ghost employee) pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering. A judge sentenced her to almost 3 years in federal prison. She agreed to pay over $500,000 in restitution. #fraud #moneylaundering #truecrime
Be sure to email me if you hear of a true-crime you think would be good in a book. I’ll research it, share it and possibly use it in one of my novels.
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Source: Internal Revenue Service, Department of Justice, WOWKTV