Former Property Manager Pleads Guilty To Stealing Over $380,000 from Employer and Clients
Defendant Spent Money at Casinos and on Other Personal Expenses
WASHINGTON – Lorraine Cyr, 58, pled guilty today to charges stemming from the embezzlement of over $380,000 from her employer and properties that she managed, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr., Thomas Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Cyr, of Palm Bay, Fla., pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of wire fraud and one count of income tax evasion. The Honorable Senior Judge Royce C. Lamberth scheduled sentencing for Oct. 19, 2015. The wire fraud charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and the charge of income tax evasion carries up to five years; both also carry potential financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Cyr faces a likely range of 41 to 51 months of incarceration and a fine between $7,500 and $75,000. The plea agreement calls for Cyr to pay over $380,000 in restitution to a property management company and various other victims of her scheme, as well as $96,112 to the IRS. She also is subject to a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $342,917.
According to a statement of offense submitted at the plea hearing, Cyr worked from 2001 until 2009 for a property management company, referred to in court documents as “Property Management Company A,” in Washington, D.C. She was vice president of operations during her last four years of employment, handling duties such as management of payroll, bank accounts, budgeting, invoicing, and tax preparation for the company and its clients. The clients consisted largely of cooperative and condominium apartment buildings in the District of Columbia.
In 2009, Cyr started her own property management company, Lorraine Cyr Management Group, Inc., also in Washington, D.C., in which she performed similar duties for various clients, including some who transitioned to her new firm. In her new role, she had virtually unfettered discretion to manage the business affairs of her clients, who granted her access to bank accounts to manage their operations and expenses.
Between July and November of 2009, prior to resigning from “Property Management Company A,” Cyr embezzled $37,620, which she used for personal purposes, including spending at casinos and various retailers. Then, between March 2010 and April 2011, while at her own firm, she stole $342,917 in funds from eight clients. She used the money for expenses such as spending at casinos, hotels, amusement parks, clothing stores, restaurants, and other retailers.
The tax charge stems from Cyr’s evasion of income taxes on the money that she was stealing during the course of her scheme.
In announcing the plea, Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen, Special Agent in Charge Jankowski and Chief Lanier commended the work of those who investigated the case from IRS-CI and MPD. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Swanton and Anthony Saler, who handled forfeiture issues; former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Chris Dobbie; Paralegal Specialists Heather Sales and Tasha Harris, Legal Assistant Angela Lawrence, and former Paralegal Specialist Nicole Wattelet. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Trial Attorney Jeffrey McLellan, of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division, who assisted on the tax matter, and Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Last, who investigated and prosecuted the case.