Former Office Manager Charged With Scheme to Defraud Law Firm
WASHINGTON – The former office manager of a Virginia law firm has been charged in an indictment unsealed today for her role in a scheme to have money sent to her personal bank accounts from the Law Firm’s bank account.
The indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, and Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office.
Dionne Castro, aka Trinity Castro, 42, previously a resident of Virginia, was indicted by a grand jury on four counts of wire fraud. The four-count indictment was returned in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2016 and ordered unsealed today.
The indictment alleges that Castro, who was formerly employed as the office manager, was solely responsible for payroll administration and bank statement reconciliation, including submitting payroll requests to the Law Firm’s account at the bank. She was also responsible for the firm’s accounting books and records and made internal entries in the firm’s QuickBooks accounting software.
As alleged in the indictment, starting in 2009 and continuing through 2011, Castro devised a scheme to obtain money and property by false pretenses, representations, and promises, from the law firm by causing money to which she was not entitled to be sent to her personal bank account from the law firm’s bank account. Castro submitted fraudulent payroll requests to the law firm’s bank account, which caused funds to be dispersed by the law firm’s account to Castro’s bank accounts in Florida and Pennsylvania. Castro also falsified the law firm’s QuickBooks accounting records to conceal her fraud and embezzlement to enrich herself.
The charge of wire fraud carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Lallas of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is prosecuting the case.