WESTPORT WOMAN ADMITS EMBEZZLING MORE
THAN $1.3 MILLION FROM CHARITABLE FOUNDATIONS
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that SOOZI FOLSOM, 54, of Westport, waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to one count of bank fraud stemming from her embezzlement of more than $1.3 million from three charitable foundations.
According to court documents and statements made in court, FOLSOM worked as the financial manager for a Westport-based accounting firm that had been retained by three charitable foundations. From approximately September 2008 to November 2011, FOLSOM generated at least 124 fraudulent checks drawn on the bank accounts of the foundations and made payable to “Groundhog, LLC,” an entity she controlled. FOLSOM forged the signature on the fraudulent checks, signing the name of an individual with signatory authority on the foundations’ bank accounts, and then converted the monies to her own personal use. FOLSOM covered up the fraud by manipulating transactions in the accounting software systems that handled the foundations’ accounting and bookkeeping.
Through this scheme, FOLSOM stole a total of $1,385,159.82 from bank accounts belonging to the three charitable foundations.
Judge Bryant has scheduled sentencing for December 7, 2012, at which time FOLSOM faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine up to approximately $2.7 million.
At the conclusion of today’s court proceeding, Judge Bryant remanded FOLSOM to the custody of the United States Marshals Service in part because FOLSOM transferred approximately $62,000 out of the country while she was aware of the federal investigation.
This matter is being investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Westport Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan Wines.
To report financial fraud crimes, and to learn more about the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.
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