New York Investment Firm CEO Guilty of Defrauding 50+ Investors in Multi-Million Dollar Pre-IPO Scam
Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, G. F. “Pete” Peterman , III, announced today that Maria E. Trenam, age 52, of Cumming, Georgia, previously of Warner Robins, Georgia, entered a plea of guilty to one count of wire fraud on June 14, 2016, before the Honorable Marc T. Treadwell, U. S. District Court Judge, in Macon, Georgia.
Ms. Trenam was the office manager of Surgical Associates of Warner Robins, P.C., in Warner Robins, Georgia. Surgical Associates is a health care benefit program providing surgical and other medical services to individuals under public and private plans. As office manager of Surgical Associates, Ms. Trenam had access to the banking and financial records of the business.
Beginning about March 31, 2011, through about August 11, 2015, Ms. Trenam used her position to embezzle money from Surgical Associates totaling $1,178,736.90. She embezzled money in several ways, including making unauthorized cash withdrawals utilizing her business credit card at automated teller machines, writing unauthorized checks to herself on business accounts and concealing the unauthorized checks by falsifying bookkeeping ledger entries, increasing her salary without authorization, using her business credit card to make unauthorized purchases of goods and services, using her business credit card for unauthorized travel and entertainment, and using her business credit card to make unauthorized purchases of goods and services on the internet.
Ms. Trenam entered a plea of guilty to Count One of the indictment, which charged that on March 16, 2015, she used her Surgical Associates business credit card to make a personal and unauthorized purchase of goods in the amount of $2,289.79 by computer on the internet from the Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts Store in Ohio.
“Stealing from an employer is a particularly dastardly crime, as you literally bite the hand that feeds you. In this case it is far worse, in that Ms. Trenam could only have stolen this large sum of money because her employer trusted her enough to place in a position of great responsibility and trust, which trust she abused in the worst and most selfish way possible,” said Acting United States Attorney Peterman.
Ms. Trenam faces 20 years of imprisonment, a fine of $250,000.00, or both. She can also be ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,178,736.90 to the victims in this case. Additionally, she can be ordered to forfeit assets obtained with proceeds of the scheme. Sentencing is currently scheduled for August 24, 2016.
The case was investigated by the Macon Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Paul C. McCommon III is prosecuting the case on behalf of the Government.
Inquiries regarding the case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey at the United States Attorney’s Office at 478-621-2603.