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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 20, 2017

New York Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing More Than $700K in Fraud Scheme

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ROSEMARIE COLLAZO, 51, of Yonkers, N.Y., waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of wire fraud stemming from her theft of more than $700,000 from her employer.

According to court documents and statements made in court, COLLAZO was employed by Abbey National Treasury Services, PLC, in Stamford. As part of her job, COLLAZO assisted in arranging for payments to vendors and others. COLLAZO collected invoices as they came into the company and presented the collected invoices to her supervisor to approve payment. Her supervisor then reviewed the items and signed off on the payments. COLLAZO then entered the payment information into the company’s accounts payable program, which generated payment checks. Next, COLLAZO created packets that included the invoice, an authorization form and the payment check related to the specific invoice. After the packets had been reviewed and the appropriate signatures obtained from her supervisors, COLLAZO mailed the checks to vendors.

Between 2010 and 2016, COLLAZO prepared 144 fraudulent duplicate invoice packages and submitted an equivalent number of checks for authorizing signatures for payments that she knew had already been processed and paid. She then deposited the checks into her personal bank account.

In addition, on at least three other occasions, COLLAZO misappropriated a vendor refund check that had been sent the company, and endorsed the check for deposit into her personal bank account.

In total, COLLAZO stole $772,242 during the course of this scheme.

Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for April 14, 2017, at which time COLLAZO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Greenwich Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.

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Updated January 20, 2017