News and Press Releases

Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty In Fraud Scheme Against Her Employers

September 8, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Cheswick, Penn., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of mail fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Debra S. Sullivan, 44, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond.

In connection with the guilty plea,  the court was advised that, from July2005 through April 16, 2009, Sullivan diverted to her personal use a total of $368,662.65 of funds belonging to the related Pittsburgh‑based business entities Vinwood Development LLC, Bayberry Development Company, Woodberry Village LP, Mooresville Development LLC, Mint Hill LLC, and BZ Gas Corporation.  Sullivan, who served as the bookkeeper for the victim companies, did so by forging company checks payable to herself or her creditors, or by fraudulently altering the authorized amounts and/or payee on legitimate company checks and diverting the excess amounts to her own benefit.

Judge Diamond scheduled sentencing for Jan.11, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.  The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Luke Dembosky is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Sullivan.

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