Nigerian National Convicted in Federal Court of Conspiracy to Launder Proceeds of Internet Fraud Schemes
WILMINGTON, Del. – A federal jury sitting in Wilmington convicted a Port Deposit, Maryland woman on Wednesday of wire fraud for fraudulently obtaining money from her employer, a Delaware medical practice, by charging unauthorized personal expenses to her business credit card. U.S. District Judge Leonard P. Stark presided over the trial and accepted the verdict.
According to court records and evidence presented, Kimberly Sponaugle, 44, made over 3,000 personal purchases with her business credit card totaling well over $250,000 during a six-year period. While working as a business manager for the medical practice, Ms. Sponaugle misappropriated her employer’s funds to pay for a wide range of goods, including her home power bills and multiple domestic and international vacations for herself and her personal associates. Ms. Sponaugle hid this fraudulent spending by mischaracterizing her personal purchases in the business’s bookkeeping software, denying others access to her credit card statements, and utilizing other means of deception.
David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, commented on the verdict, “As a business manager, Ms. Sponaugle served in a position of trust. She betrayed that trust, putting personal greed ahead of her job responsibilities and enriching herself by taking her employer’s money. My office and our law enforcement partners will continue to pursue those who commit financial fraud at the expense of their employers.”
“Ms. Sponaugle treated her company’s funds as her own personal bank account, even using them to pay for elaborate vacations and household bills,” said Thomas J. Sobocinski, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “The FBI is committed to rooting out and bringing to justice company insiders who use their positions to commit this kind of unconscionable financial fraud. Companies should be reminded that the threat of fraudulent activities increasingly comes from employees on the inside.”
Ms. Sponaugle faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The sentencing date has yet to be announced. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine Ms. Sponaugle’s sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Weiss and SAC Sobocinski of the FBI Baltimore Field Office, which investigated the case through its Wilmington Resident Agency, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carly Hudson and Ruth Mandelbaum are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-CR-103.