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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 3, 2020

Convicted Fraudster Charged in New Embezzlement Scheme

BOSTON – A Canton woman who was previously convicted of embezzling more than $1.3 million from her former employer now faces new fraud charges.

Nicole Lescarbeau (a/k/a Nicole Coulibaly), 53, was arrested today and charged by criminal complaint with one count of bank fraud in connection with a new embezzlement scheme from a different employer. Lescarbeau will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy this afternoon.  

In December 2019, Lescarbeau pleaded guilty to wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft and is scheduled to be sentenced on those charges on Dec. 9, 2020 before U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns. 

As alleged in today’s charging document, while on pre-trial release for a  prior case, Lescarbeau was hired as an administrator at a small, Brookline-based non-profit organization.  Lescarbeau did not tell the non-profit about her pending indictment and applied for the position using her married name, Nicole Coulibaly, in an effort to conceal the federal charges. As administrator, Lescarbeau’s duties included assisting with certain financial transactions, including preparing checks as directed by the non-profit’s president.

From August 2019 until February 2020, Lescarbeau allegedly used her position to steal funds from the non-profit for her personal use. Specifically, Lescarbeau diverted checks to herself that the non-profit had issued for legitimate business by fraudulently altering the name of the payee on the checks and then depositing them into her personal bank account. It is also alleged that Lescarbeau opened an unapproved PayPal account in the non-profit’s name and made unauthorized transfers directly from the non-profit’s bank account to pay for her personal rent. In total, as a result of this scheme, Lescarbeau embezzled approximately $56,963 from the non-profit’s bank account.

The charge of bank fraud provides for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release, a fine of $1 million, restitution and forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Assistant United States Attorney Justin D. O’Connell of Lelling’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated December 3, 2020