Employee Charged with Stealing $900K from New Jersey Insurance Broker

May 22, 2019

A former accounting specialist in the Ridgefield Park, N.J., office of an insurance broker was arrested and charged with allegedly defrauding her employer of approximately $900,000, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Violeta McGough, 55, of Bergenfield, N.J., has been charged by complaint with one count of wire fraud. U.S. Postal Inspectors and criminal investigators with the U.S. Attorney’s Office arrested McGough at her home.

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” in the complaint – 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 supposedly 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.

The single wire fraud count is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Source: The United States Attorney’s Office – District of New Jersey

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