Nigerian National Convicted in Federal Court of Conspiracy to Launder Proceeds of Internet Fraud Schemes
WILMINGTON, Del. - Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that an Indictment has been handed down by a federal grand jury charging Roberta Czap, 66, of Newark, Delaware, with wire fraud, identity theft, money laundering and tax offenses. The defendant faces up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud and money laundering charges, up to 10 years for engaging in a separate money laundering transaction, and up to three years on the tax offenses. In addition to incarceration on the other charges, Czap faces an extra mandatory two years term of imprisonment if convicted of the identity theft charge.
The Indictment alleges that between 2011 and 2016, the defendant, who was employed in the accounting department of a financial services company in Newark, directed more than $6.1 million dollars in electronic funds transfers from the company’s operating account to her personal bank accounts. Using the personal identification information of another employee, Czap created false payment requests, designed to appear legitimate, to the company’s vendors. Czap then authorized nearly five hundred payments with company funds, using her own credentials. While Czap filed federal tax returns for 2013, 2014, and 2015, those returns did not, as was required by law, include her illegal income from the company’s funds, and materially understated her income.
The Indictment further alleges that, between January 2013 and July 2016, once the company’s funds were fraudulently deposited into defendant’s bank accounts, defendant and her husband withdrew approximately $2.7 million in cash at various casinos in Delaware and elsewhere. Czap gambled regularly and consistently, but would at times cash out her casino play and receive United States Currency. Currency totaling approximately $1.2 million was subsequently deposited into two different bank accounts held in the name of Czap’s husband.
U.S. Attorney Oberly gave the following comment, “I want to thank both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Defendant’s attempts to conceal the source of her illegal income made detection of the fraud more challenging, but the diligent and thorough investigative work of law enforcement uncovered the significant fraud perpetrated not only against the victim company, but the American people.”
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Lesley Wolf.
The charges in the Indictment are only allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.