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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Former Director Of Accounting And Human Resources Charged In White Plains Federal Court With Embezzlement From Employer And Aggravated Identity Theft

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the unsealing of an Indictment in White Plains federal court charging SUSANA RIVERA, the former Director of Accounting and Human Resources for a kitchen remodeling firm located in Westchester County and Greenwich, Connecticut, with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with her embezzlement of more than $550,000 from her employer.  RIVERA was arrested this morning and will be presented in White Plains federal court later today. 

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Susana Rivera abused the trust her employer placed in her by stealing more than $500,000 in hundreds of individual thefts over 22 months.  She stole and used her employer’s identity to further her scheme.  She will now be held accountable for her thefts.”

FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said: “No more than one month after joining the company she allegedly defrauded, Susana Rivera started down a path of embezzlement that would eventually result in more than half a million dollars in losses to her victim. Spending this money on a variety of luxury and personal items, she jumped headfirst into this scheme with seemingly no signs of slowing down—until we showed up to levy the charge. Financial fraud schemes wreak havoc on private businesses and the economy alike. Any attempt to defraud a victim in this way will most certainly be met with consequences in our justice system.”

According to the Indictment unsealed today in White Plains federal court:[1]

In October 2019, RIVERA was hired as the Director of Accounting and Human Resources at the victim company, a family owned kitchen design and remodeling business in Mamaroneck, Bedford and Greenwich, Connecticut.  Starting in November 2019, RIVERA made hundreds of unauthorized charges in a total amount exceeding $175,000 to the victim company’s credit cards for personal expenses, including jewelry, beauty treatments, laser treatments, travel, pets, cosmetic surgery, clothing and cars, including a partial payment on a  $100,000 Corvette.  RIVERA also caused the victim company’s payroll company to make unauthorized payments in a net amount of more than $370,000 to a fake vendor that RIVERA created to receive the money.  RIVERA also caused unauthorized transfers from the victim company’s bank account in an amount exceeding $2,900 to pay her personal utility bills.  To get restrictions on the use of the victim company’s credit cards removed, RIVERA posed as an owner of the victim company in telephone calls with the company’s credit card company.  RIVERA also sent the credit card company photographs of the owner’s driver’s license to cause credit card company personnel to believe she was the owner.

RIVERA, 40, of the Bronx, New York, is charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

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Mr. Williams praised the investigative work of the FBI.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney James McMahon is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

 

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Contact: 
Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
22-040
Updated February 9, 2022