District of Columbia Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
Defendant Defrauded Former Employer
WASHINGTON - Germaine L. Graham, 41, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty in federal court today to one count of wire fraud related to a fraud scheme against his former employer located in Washington D.C., announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Acting Special Agent in Charge David Geist of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division.
As part of the fraud scheme, Graham made false payroll entries into the company’s payroll processing system, which directed unauthorized payments to himself. As a result of the fraudulent scheme, Graham caused approximately $250,000 in losses to his former employer. U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras accepted the guilty plea. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 2, 2024.
According to the Statement of the Offense, between February 2019 and January 2022, Graham was employed as an office manager with a private architecture firm in the District of Columbia. As part of his duties, he was responsible for the firm’s book-keeping functions, including invoicing and bill paying. He was also responsible for preparing and electronically submitting the firm’s bi-monthly payroll register to an out-of-state payroll processing company. Graham also had access to the firm’s electronic checks and on-line book-keeping program. Graham used his access to the payroll processing system, company checks, and the book-keeping program to steal his employer’s money and to hide the theft.
In announcing the verdict, Graves and Geist commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office. They also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Lisa Abbe, Victim-Witness Service Coordinator Tonya Jones, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Lucas, who investigated and prosecuted the case.