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Press Release

Cheshire Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Tax Offenses Stemming from Nearly $1 Million Embezzlement Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Robert Fuller, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, today announced that ERIN SULLIVAN, 53, of Cheshire, waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday in New Haven federal court to fraud and tax offenses stemming from an embezzlement scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Sullivan was employed as the office manager for a family-owned construction business, identified in court documents in “Company A,” based in Orange.  Beginning at least as early as 2016, Sullivan made false entries into Company A’s payroll and accounting system that caused the system to generate hundreds of fraudulent checks payable to her or to “Petty Cash.”  Almost immediately after she generated a fraudulent check, Sullivan changed the reference in the payroll and accounting system to show that it had been issued to a different payee.  Sullivan sometimes generated checks in the name of Company A’s owner, forged the signature of Company A’s owner on the checks, and either cashed the checks or deposited them into her bank account.  She also altered the payroll and accounting system in other ways, which resulted in her receiving additional pay to which she was not entitled.  Through this scheme, Sullivan embezzled $955,960.71 from Company A.

In addition, Sullivan failed to pay $233,738 in federal income taxes on her embezzled income for the 2016 through 2021 tax years.

Sullivan pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of tax evasion, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

Sullivan is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing, which is not scheduled.

This investigation has been conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, with the assistance of the Orange Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. McGarry.

Updated November 1, 2023

Financial Fraud