Greenbelt, Maryland – Lachann Alexis Green, age 36, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the federal charge of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud her employer, causing a loss to the business of at least $285,703.09.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to her guilty plea, from October 2017 through December 2018, Green was the general manager of Rhode Island Row, an apartment complex in Washington, D.C. that was managed by Business 1, her employer. As General Manager of the apartment complex, Green was the senior employee of Business 1 on site at Rhode Island Row and was responsible for all expenses and staffing needs for the apartment complex. During her time as General Manager, Green used her position to defraud Business 1 in at least four different ways.
First, in October 2017, Green registered a fraudulent shell business, “Executive Property Staffing” (“EPS”), with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (“SDAT”). Green admitted that she created dozens of fraudulent EPS invoices for staffing, cleaning, and maintenance work at Rhode Island Row that had not been done by EPS. Green personally approved and submitted the fraudulent invoices to her employer. The money that Business 1 paid on the invoices was generally sent to a bank account opened in EPS’s name but which was controlled by Green. Over the course of the scheme, Green submitted and Business 1 paid $231,802 in fraudulent EPS invoices.
As detailed in her plea agreement, although Green had acknowledged and agreed to Business 1’s policy against self-dealing and conflicts of interest as part of her employment, Green took steps to conceal her ownership of EPS and did not disclose her association with EPS to her employer. For example, Green e-mailed a forged W-9 form to get EPS set up in Business 1’s vendor payment system, which she signed using a relative’s name. In addition, Green created an e-mail account purporting to belong to “Michelle Cross” in EPS management. Green used that e-mail address to send e-mails to her Business 1 work account, then forwarded these fake e-mails to others in Business 1 to make it look like she maintained an arms-length relationship with EPS. On at least two occasions, Green used these fake e-mails to suggest that EPS was getting annoyed at how long it was taking for Business 1 to pay EPS for the fraudulent invoices Green had submitted.
Second, Green leased two Rhode Island Row apartments to her relatives under false names and at favorable terms not generally available to others. By the time her fraud was discovered, the two relatives had both failed to pay rent for months, costing Business 1 a total of $39,524 in uncollected rent.
In addition, Green contracted with a business owned and operated by a personal associate (“Individual 1”) to turn over apartments at Rhode Island Row. Between October 2017 and October 2018, Green submitted to her employer approximately $190,000 in invoices for Individual 1’s company for apartment cleaning, painting, and turn-over for new tenants. Green admitted that she never disclosed her relationship to Individual 1 and Individual 1’s company to Business 1.
Finally, Green also admitted that she submitted fraudulent invoices to her employer for expenses that she falsely claimed she had paid out-of-pocket on Business 1’s behalf. Generally, these invoices falsely claimed that Green had arranged and paid for catering services for events at Rhode Island Row. For example, in October 2018, Green submitted an invoice in the name of a caterer for expenses incurred for Rhode Island Row’s Halloween party. In fact, Green never ordered any catering for the 2018 Halloween party. Instead, a relative provided pizza for the event and Green pocketed the $1,500 she falsely invoiced to Business 1. In total, Green submitted and Business 1 paid reimbursement for at least $14,377.09 in fraudulently submitted expenses.
Green used the money she fraudulently obtained from Business 1 to support a luxurious lifestyle, including to help purchase an Audi, to buy season tickets to the Washington Wizards professional basketball team, and to finance a luxury vacation to Cancun with Individual 1.
As part of her plea agreement, Green will be required to forfeit the amount she fraudulently obtained as a result of the scheme, which is at least $246,179.09. Green also has agreed to the entry of a restitution order for the full amount of the loss to Business 1, which is at least $285,703.09.
Green faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis has scheduled sentencing for Green on May 20, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Dana J. Brusca and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig G. Fansler, who are prosecuting the case.
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