Maine Resident Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Tax Offenses Stemming from $1.8 Million Embezzlement Scheme
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that EDWARD F. ZIEGLER II, 63, of Bridgton, Maine, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to fraud and tax offenses stemming from a 15-year embezzlement scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Ziegler was employed as the office manager for a small, family-owned business, identified in court documents in “Company A,” based in Berlin, Connecticut. In approximately 2006, Ziegler opened a bank account in his name and with the qualifying language “Doing Business As [Company A].” Over the course of approximately 15 years, Ziegler diverted more than 400 checks, totaling approximately $1.8 million, from Company A’s customers and deposited them 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.
In addition, Ziegler failed to pay $173,003 in federal income taxes on his embezzled income for the 2015 through 2019 tax years.
Ziegler was arrested on March 16, 2022.
Ziegler 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. Judge Dooley scheduled sentencing for February 3.
Ziegler is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.
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.