NEWARK, N.J. – A former accounting specialist in the Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, office of an insurance broker was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for defrauding her employer of approximately $900,000, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Violeta McGough, 57, of Bergenfield, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an information charging her with one count of wire fraud. Judge Arleo imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From 2008 through October 2015, McGough allegedly made numerous fraudulent accounting entries to steal funds that her employer – identified as “Victim-Company 1” – collected as insurance premiums. The premiums were for policies underwritten and issued by Victim-Company 1 on behalf of a United Kingdom-based insurance syndicate that actually held the risk. As part of her employment duties, McGough tracked premiums collected by Victim-Company 1 and its monthly payments to the syndicate.
McGough repeatedly used her access to Victim-Company 1’s books to divert a portion of those payments to her personal use. McGough disguised the stolen funds as reimbursed premiums for cancelled policies. She caused Victim-Company 1 to generate checks payable to a person identified in the complaint as “Individual 1,” who suppossedly worked for a premium financing company, but did not actually work there. McGough personally deposited the checks into Individual 1’s bank account and the bulk of the funds were transmitted back to McGough’s bank account.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Arleo sentenced McGough to three years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James Buthorn, and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David W. Feder of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.