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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 1, 2013

Westport Woman Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling More Than $1.8 Million From Foundations, Employer


Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that SOOZI FOLSOM, 55, of Westport, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 46 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for embezzling more than $1.3 million from three charitable foundations, and approximately $500,000 from her employer.

According to court documents and statements made in court, FOLSOM worked as the financial manager for a Westport-based accounting and law firm that had been retained by three charitable foundations.  From approximately September 2008 to November 2011, she generated at least 124 fraudulent checks drawn on the bank accounts of the foundations and made payable to “Groundhog, LLC,” an entity she controlled.  FOLSOM forged the signature on the fraudulent checks, signing the name of an individual with signatory authority on the foundations’ bank accounts, and then converted the monies to her own personal use.  FOLSOM covered up the fraud by manipulating transactions in the accounting software systems that handled the foundations’ accounting and bookkeeping.  Through this scheme, FOLSOM stole more than $1.3 million from bank accounts belonging to the three charitable foundations.

The investigation also revealed that FOLSOM had embezzled approximately $500,000 from her employer.

Judge Bryant ordered FOLSOM to pay restitution in the total amount of $1,836,973.11.

On September 17, 2012, FOLSOM waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud.  She has been detained since that date.

This matter was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Westport Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan Wines.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT:

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

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Updated March 18, 2015