Former Chief Financial Officer At Not-For-Profit Organization Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud And Making A False Tax Return
Former CFO Admits to Embezzling Money and Evading Taxes
Earlier today, Paul Cronin pleaded guilty at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, to a criminal information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of making and subscribing a false tax return, in connection with his conduct as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for United States Council for International Business (USCIB), a not-for-profit organization that advocates for international business and trade. Pursuant to Cronin’s plea agreement with the government, Cronin agreed to pay more than $1.3 million in restitution as part of the sentence imposed by the Court. The plea was entered before United States Magistrate Judge James Orenstein.
As detailed in court filings and facts presented during the plea proceeding, Cronin abused his position as the CFO of USCIB to misappropriate more than $1.3 million in funds to pay for personal expenses. Cronin compounded his criminal conduct by failing to report the embezzled funds as income to the Internal Revenue Service.
The plea was announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI); and James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, New York Field Office (IRS).
“The defendant betrayed his position of trust with a not-for-profit organization to line his own pockets,” stated Acting United States Attorney Rohde. “Our office will remain vigilant in rooting out corrupt actors who undermine faith in organizations designed to further the public good.”
“Cronin’s misappropriation of more than $1 million, and subsequent tax evasion, didn’t support the efforts of free trade, as advocated by the organization, but instead supported his personal efforts to pay his own expenses,” stated Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “This type of reprehensible and illegal activity won’t be tolerated, and those who employ these schemes will most certainly be brought to justice.”
“In the United States, income is taxable, regardless of whether the source is legal or illegal. Mr. Cronin’s plea today serves as an important reminder that the role of IRS Criminal Investigation becomes even more important in embezzlement and fraud cases due to the complex financial transactions that can take time to decipher,” said IRS Special Agent-in-Charge Robnett. “The victims are not only the taxpayers, but also the individual entities who suffer the financial harm.”
This case has been assigned to United States District Court Judge Raymond J. Dearie. When sentenced on August 18, 2017, Cronin faces up to 20 years in prison.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon and Lan Nguyen are in charge of the prosecution.
Daniel Island, South Carolina
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-190 (RJD)