Maine Resident Charged with Fraud and Tax Offenses Stemming from $1 Million Embezzlement
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut
Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, David Sundberg, 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 a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned a 27-count indictment charging EDWARD F. ZIEGLER II, 63, of Bridgton, Maine, with fraud and tax offenses related to an embezzlement scheme.
The indictment was returned on March 15, 2022, and Ziegler was arrested in Maine on March 16. He appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas O. Farrish in Hartford, entered a plea of not guilty, and was released on a $100,000 bond.
As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, for approximately 25 years, Ziegler was employed as the office manager for a small business, identified in the indictment as “Company A,” based in Berlin, Connecticut. As part of a scheme to defraud, Zeigler opened a bank account in his name and with the qualifying language “Doing Business As [Company A].” Over the course of several years, Ziegler sent invoices to the business’s customers through both the U.S. Mail and e-mail, received checks from the customers for services provided, and deposited checks into the secret bank account he had established. Ziegler also made fraudulent entries in Company A’s books and record keeping system to cover up the fact that he had diverted the checks and used the funds for his own benefit.
It is alleged that, through this scheme, Ziegler caused more than 400 checks totaling more than $1 million to be deposited into his secret account. In addition, Ziegler failed to pay $173,643 in federal income taxes on his embezzled income for the 2015 through 2019 tax years.
The indictment charges Ziegler with 22 counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years on each count, and five counts of tax evasion, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on each count.
U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, with the assistance of the Bridgton (Maine) Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. McGarry.
Updated March 22, 2022