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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 22, 2018

New York Woman Admits to Embezzling $1.1 Million from Darien Auto Dealership

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that VANESSA VENCE-SMALL, 50, of New Windsor, New York, waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in New Haven to one count of wire fraud arising from an embezzlement scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, VENCE-SMALL was the controller of Felix F. Callari, Inc., doing business as Continental BMW of Darien, an automobile dealership.  From October 2014 to June 2017, VENCE-SMALL made 65 unauthorized electronic fund transfers, totaling $904,659.29, from the dealership’s bank account to her personal American Express account.  VENCE-SMALL also issued and signed 28 checks drawn on the dealership’s bank account, in the total amount of $207,777.78, to pay various third parties, including credit card companies, contractors who performed work at her residence, and a different dealership from which she purchased a car.  She also incurred on company accounts an additional $31,452.08 in unauthorized credit card charges and reimbursements.

Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for May 24, 2018, at which time VENCE-SMALL faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a fine of up to approximately $2.3 million, and an order of full restitution.

VENCE-SMALL is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, Darien Police Department and Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen. 

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated February 22, 2018