Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Former Controller at Manhattan Investment Firm with Embezzling Over $730,000
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 18, 2009|
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and JOSEPH M. DEMAREST, JR., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), announced the arrest today of RICHARD TEDESCHI, the former Controller of a Manhattanbased investment firm, on charges that he embezzled more than $730,000 from the firm. TEDESCHI surrendered this morning to Special Agents of the FBI.
According to the criminal Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
While employed at the investment firm, TEDESCHI engaged in a seven-year-long scheme to defraud the firm by falsely claiming that his personal expenses were corporate expenses and by forging signatures on corporate checks. In all, TEDESCHI stole over $730,000 from the firm, over $630,000 of which was used to pay his personal American Express bills. Additionally, TEDESCHI directed $7,500 to the payment of the mortgage on his home, $2,500 to the payment of telephone bills, and $12,000 to personal expenses charged on the firm's American Express account. He also caused the firm to pay him additional funds directly.
TEDESCHI, 51, of Morris Plains, NJ, is charged with one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He is expected to be presented on the charges later today in Manhattan federal court. If convicted on the mail fraud charge, TEDESCHI faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary loss or gain from the offense. On the aggravated identity theft charge, TEDESCHI faces an additional two-year sentence that would be served consecutively with a sentence on the mail fraud charge.
U.S. Attorney BHARARA stated: "Richard Tedeschi allegedly used his firm's corporate account as his personal account, brazenly redirecting $730,000 to pay his own bills and line his own pockets. Firms have a right to expect that employees entrusted with their finances will not steal from them. Tapping the company coffers is a betrayal of trust, a criminal act, and a ticket to a court of law."
Assistant Director-in-Charge DEMAREST stated: "Tedeschi's embezzlement of company funds is theft just as surely as if he had entered the vault of the firm's bank and stuffed his pockets with cash. The FBI's commitment to policing white collar crime is based on this fundamental notion that stealing is a crime no matter who does it."
Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the investigation of this case.
This case is being prosecuted by the Office's Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant United States Attorney DAVID I. MILLER is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.