Wisconsin Man Sentenced for Schemes that Defrauded Illinois Company of More Than $9 Million
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that STEVEN C. GOLD, 47, of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall to 36 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in two separate schemes that defrauded his former employer of more than $9 million.
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the sentencing occurred via videoconference.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Gold and John T. Finkle III were employed by JST, a supplier of electronic components based in Waukegan, Illinois. Finkle, of East Haven, was primarily employed in sales for JST and Gold operated the accounting and billing systems for the company. Between approximately February 2015 and December 2018, Finkle conspired with Kenneth Pedroli, and Gold, to defraud JST through a scheme involving purchases of electronic components that Pedroli made from JST for a business he operated in Islandia, New York. As part of the scheme, Finkle instructed Pedroli to place his orders and list prices at a fraction of JST’s published prices. After Pedroli’s orders were submitted to JST at the discounted prices, the products were shipped from JST to Pedroli. Finkle instructed Pedroli to pay only a portion of the invoiced price and to make the payments directly to Finkle, which Pedroli did. Finkle deposited the payments into his personal checking account, and provided a portion of the funds to Gold, who manipulated the accounting records of JST to make it appear that Pedroli had paid JST for the products he received.
JST was defrauded of $3,359,058.69 through this scheme.
During the investigation of the scheme involving Finkle and Pedroli, investigators uncovered an additional $6,060,151 that Gold had stolen from JST by accessing and manipulating JSTs accounting system. Gold used the stolen funds to pay for personal expenses that included vacations, online gambling, home improvement costs, furniture, clothes, restaurants, college tuition, and car payments. He also unlawfully transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars in JST funds to his wife’s company.
Judge Hall ordered Gold to pay restitution of $9,419,209.69
On February 21, 2020, Gold pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.
Gold, who is released on a $500,000 bond, is required to report to prison on December 2, 2020.
Finkle and Pedroli previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. On November 22, 2019, Finkle was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment. On December 12, 2019, Pedroli was sentenced to three years of probation.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Miller of the District of Connecticut, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Stern of the Northern District of Illinois.
Updated September 21, 2020