States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|February 11, 2010||
ELLINGTON WOMAN SENTENCED TO NEARLY FOUR YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR STEALING $1.7 MILLION FROM EMPLOYER
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that PATRICIA BADDELEY MEEHAN, 44, of Ellington, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 46 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for stealing more than $1.7 million from her former employer. On October 7, 2008, BADDELEY MEEHAN pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between approximately 1998 and May 2007, BADDELEY MEEHAN was an employee of Berman and Russo, a law office based in South Windsor, Connecticut. BADDELEY MEEHAN held the position of paralegal and worked primarily on real estate closings. BADDELEY MEEHAN had signatory authority on a Client Fund Account located at Rockville Bank and also was authorized, by the partners in the Law Office, to use a signature stamp on checks cut from the Client Fund Account. In addition, BADDELEY MEEHAN had access to the check book for the Law Office’s Operating Account and, with others, had signatory authority on the Operating Account.
BADDELEY MEEHAN has admitted that, between August 2003 and May 2007, she carried out a scheme to defraud the Law Office. BADDELEY MEEHAN had several credit card accounts in her name, which she used to purchase personal items and to take cash advances. The records reflect that between approximately August 11, 2002 and June 23, 2007, BADDELEY MEEHAN took cash advances at various casinos totaling $1,463,093.19. In approximately August 2003, BADDELEY MEEHAN began to cut checks from the Client Fund Account to pay for her credit card bills. Between August 2003 and May 2007, BADDELEY MEEHAN wrote or caused to be written 77 checks totaling $1,716,128.22 from the Client Fund Account and made payable to credit card companies to which she owed money.
The Government maintains that BADDELEY MEEHAN took steps to conceal the scheme by, for example, failing to transfer attorney fee payments from the Client Fund Account to the Operating Account; transferring, without authorization, funds from the Operating Account to the Client Fund Account; depositing attorney fee checks to the Client Fund Account rather than the Operating Account and making false entries in the Law Office’s books and records, and knowingly and willfully making misrepresentations and omissions to partners and employees of the law office as to her involvement in the fraud. BADDELEY MEEHAN disputes that she took certain of these acts.
As a result of the fraud, BADDELEY MEEHAN also filed false tax returns for the years 2004 and 2005 because she failed to report the proceeds of the fraud on her tax returns. For criminal purposes, BADDELEY MEEHAN under reported her personal income and owes the following amount in taxes: $37,024.00 for the 2004 tax year and $86,735.00 for the 2005 tax year.
Today, Judge Underhill ordered BADDELEY MEEHAN to pay full restitution to her former employer, and back taxes, penalties and interest to the Internal Revenue Service.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case was prosecuted by United States Attorney Nora R. Dannehy.
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