Former Marriott Employee Sentenced In Scheme to Embezzle over $400,000

Maryland Task Force Aggressively Pursues Federal Charges for Child Prostitution

April 20, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Lorraine Wakefield, age 51, of Alexandria, Virginia, today to one year and a day in prison followed by three years of supervised release for wire fraud in connection with a scheme to embezzle money from Marriott International. Judge Motz also entered an order requiring Wakefield to pay $439,554 in restitution to Marriott International.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge David Beach of the United States Secret Service – Washington Field Office; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.

According to her plea agreement, Wakefield was employed by Marriott International from 2001 through 2010. Wakefield managed the corporate credit card expense logging and payment for the executives she supported, as well as managing the executives’ travel expense reporter and requests for reimbursement of out of pocket expenses.

Wakefield admitted that she embezzled between $400,000 and $1 million, by abusing her employment position. Specifically, Wakefield incurred personal expenses on her corporate credit card as well as the corporate credit cards of the executives she supported, filed false travel expense reports to conceal her fraudulent corporate credit card expenses, and filed false invoices to cause Marriott checks to be issued to pay her personal American Express card.

This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Secret Service and Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Arun Rao, who prosecuted the case.

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