FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2011
TRENTON, N.J. – The former office manager of a law firm based in Lakewood, N.J., today admitted to defrauding her former employer by improperly diverting funds, taking more than $1.1 million from the firm, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Kathleen Baker, 54, of Brick Township, N.J., pleaded guilty to an Information charging her with one count of wire fraud. She entered her guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Baker admitted that between June 2003 and June 2009, she embezzled from her former employer, referred to in court documents as the “Law Firm,” by wrongfully writing checks from the law firm’s accounts and diverting them to accounts she controlled and to pay off personal credit cards. Among other things, she opened a bank account in the name of a fictitious company called “Corporate Solutions” in order to conceal the flow of money. Baker’s actions caused wire transfers of large sums of money between and among various banks in the Federal Reserve System.
Baker, who had access to the law firm’s bank accounts in order to perform her duties as the law firm’s office manager, used that access to divert more than $1.1 million for her personal benefit.
The count to which Baker pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. She will also be ordered to pay restitution at sentencing, currently scheduled for October 20, 2011.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Red Bank FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for their work in the investigation of this case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert G. Marasco of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
Defense counsel: Ronald Sage Esq., Freehold, N.J.
Baker, Kathleen Information