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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

Thursday, September 11, 2014

South Hills Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Fraud Charge

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to a charge of wire fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Mary L. Schneir, 42, of Bethel Park, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Schneir was employed as the bookkeeper and office manager at Karna C. Goldsmith, C.P.A., an accounting firm located at Summerfield Commons Office Park, Suite 611, 2555 Washington Road, in Pittsburgh, Pa. Schneir devised and executed a fraud scheme during her tenure as an employee of Goldsmith, whereby she used funds of Goldsmith clients to make online payments to her personal credit card and mortgage accounts. To hide her activity, Schneir would regularly move money between the bank accounts of Goldsmith’s clients, to which she had access. Specifically, on Feb. 28, 2013, Schneir caused an electronic transfer of funds in the amount of $54,145.36, from the account of Cybergenetics Corporation, to an A.L. Brourman Associates, Inc., account maintained at Citizen’s Bank. At the time Schneir’s scheme was detected, Cybergenetics accounts were the only ones remaining affected. The total loss to the business was in excess of $270,000.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for Feb. 19, 2015, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000.00, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and detectives of the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Schneir.

Updated July 14, 2015