Former accounting and HR director faces embezzlement and identity theft charges

Defendant allegedly scammed her employer out of six-figure sum

Former accounting and HR director faces embezzlement and identity theft charges

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently announced federal court charges against a former director of accounting and HR who allegedly stole more than $500,000 from her former employer.

The firm, a kitchen remodeling company based in Connecticut, hired Susana Rivera in 2019. According to the allegations, a month after employment, Rivera made “hundreds of unauthorized charges in a total amount exceeding $175,000 to the victim company’s credit cards for personal expenses, including jewelry, beauty treatments, laser treatments, travel, pets, cosmetic surgery, clothing and cars, including a partial payment on a $100,000 Corvette.” 

Another allegation said she “caused the firm’s payroll company to make unauthorized payments in a net amount of more than $370,000 to a fake vendor that she created to receive the money.” She also allegedly made “unauthorized transfers from the firm’s bank account in an amount exceeding $2,900 to pay her personal utility bills.” 

She also allegedly posed as the firm's owner in telephone calls with its credit card company to remove the card restrictions, as well as allegedly made the credit card personnel believe she was the owner.

Read more: Ex-Amazon employee sentenced to prison for involvement in bribery scheme

“Susana Rivera abused the trust her employer placed in her by stealing more than $500,000 in hundreds of individual thefts over 22 months.  She stole and used her employer’s identity to further her scheme.  She will now be held accountable for her thefts,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a media release.

“No more than one month after joining the company she allegedly defrauded, Susana Rivera started down a path of embezzlement that would eventually result in more than half a million dollars in losses to her victim. Spending this money on a variety of luxury and personal items, she jumped headfirst into this scheme with seemingly no signs of slowing down — until we showed up to levy the charge,” said FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll.

“Financial fraud schemes wreak havoc on private businesses and the economy alike. Any attempt to defraud a victim in this way will most certainly be met with consequences in our justice system,” Driscoll added.

Rivera has been charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory prison sentence of two years.

She was arrested on Feb. 9 and presented to the White Plains federal court on the same day.

Earlier this month, a CEO of several medical-imaging companies in Southern California was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for running a scheme that submitted more than $250 million in fraudulent claims through the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC). The claims were for medical services procured through bribes and kickbacks to physicians and others, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California.

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