States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|May 27, 2010||
NEW CHARGES FILED AGAINST THREE DEFENDANTS WHO ALLEGEDLY DEFRAUDED WEBSTER BANK OF $6.2 MILLION
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford has returned a superseding indictment that adds charges against three individuals who are alleged to have defrauded Webster Bank of nearly $6.2 million. The superseding indictment was returned yesterday, May 26.
On January 28, 2010, SUSAN A. CURTIS, 48, her husband GARY J. STOCKING, 43, both of Naugatuck, and CURTIS’ former husband, KEVIN W. CAFFREY, 45, of Wolcott were each charged with one count of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud stemming from the alleged scheme. The superseding indictment adds money laundering and tax charges against the three defendants, and removes the charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
The indictment alleges that CURTIS was employed in the Property Services Division of Webster Bank with responsibilities that included negotiating and managing bank property leases where Webster Bank was a landlord or tenant. The indictment further alleges that CURTIS, STOCKING and CAFFREY established two companies called New House, LLC and Equity Realty, LLC, which CURTIS falsely represented to Webster Bank’s Vendor Management Department were landlords, an exempted category for due diligence and annual review.
As part of the alleged scheme, CURTIS submitted paperwork to Webster Bank’s Accounts Payable Department in which she falsely represented that New House and Equity Realty were due a fee in approximately 109 real estate related transactions involving 67 properties. As a result, Webster Bank made payments of approximately $5.04 million to New House and Equity Realty. In addition, the indictment alleges that CURTIS caused a landlord, who was a lessor of property leased to Webster Bank, to send approximately $703,620 in lease improvement payments directly to CURTIS. CURTIS and STOCKING are alleged to have altered the checks from the landlord to make them payable to Webster Bank c/o Equity Realty, and then deposited the checks to an Equity Realty account at another bank.
The indictment also alleges that CURTIS falsely represented to other landlords or their counsel, who were dealing with Webster Bank, that a $450,000 check for property improvements should be paid directly to Equity Realty c/o Webster Bank. CURTIS and STOCKING then deposited the check into the Equity Realty bank account.
The indictment further alleges that CURTIS, STOCKING and CAFFREY conspired to launder monies obtained by the alleged fraud, and also filed false tax returned by failing to report income derived from the alleged embezzlement.
Finally, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of an interest up to an amount of $456,790.79 in real property in East Hampton, Connecticut, three automobiles, two Harley Davidson motorcycles, two boats and boat trailers, approximately $300,000 in artwork, approximately $100,000 in jewelry, and a Steinway piano valued at more than $77,000. The indictment also seeks a money judgment in the amount of $6,194,589.85.
The indictment charges CURTIS, STOCKING and CAFFREY each with one count of bank fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years. The indictment also charges CURTIS with two counts, and STOCKING and CAFFREY each with one count of conspiracy to money launder, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count. Finally, the indictment charges CURTIS and CAFFREY each with four counts, and STOCKING with two counts, of filing a false tax return, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years on each count.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to fair trial at which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy United States Attorney Nora R. Dannehy.
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