News and Press Releases

Former Office Manager Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Funds from Car Dealership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2014

PITTSBURGH – The office manager for a South Hills car dealership has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of wire fraud and filing false income tax returns, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Deborah Cassini, 61, of New Castle, Pa, pleaded guilty to four counts before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Cassini was employed by Three Rivers Volkswagen as the Office Manager. As the Office Manager, Cassini had access to the company’s bank accounts, payroll system, accounting system and cash. Over the course of several years, Cassini embezzled funds in numerous ways, including making approximately 163 online payments to her personal credit cards from the company bank account; by making approximately six online payments for her BMW from the company bank account; by issuing herself additional compensation through the payroll system approximately 98 times; by skimming cash hundreds of times; by writing checks to herself and to cash on company checks and by making cash withdrawals from the company bank account. Cassini concealed the theft by making false accounting entries into the company’s accounting system and by preparing false financial statements. The United States Attorney’s Office submitted to the Court that the loss to the victim was approximately $700,000. Cassini also pleaded guilty to filing false income tax returns for three of the years in which she embezzled funds.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for Nov. 20, 2014, at 10 am. The law provides for a total sentence of 89 years in prison, a fine of $1,750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court permitted Cassini to remain on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Lee J. Karl is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. The United States Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal

Investigation Division conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Deborah Cassini.

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