Tag Archives: lifestyle
Recently I presented to a group of fire service administrators. This presentation was about fraud and embezzlement in fire districts. Of course, I had to include some #pinkcollarcrime stories because of the numbers of women stealing from fire districts.
A shout out to Curt Varone http://www.firelawblog.com/ for his help with these numbers. According to iWomen, there are 11,000 female career firefighters and 40,000 volunteers. From the NFPA there are roughly 1.2 million firefighters which translate to women making up roughly 4.25% of the fire service (51,000/1.2 mil). Curt has been keeping track of embezzlement cases in fire districts. Here are his results:
Insider Theft in the Volunteer service
Total cases: 360
Criminal – 188
Civil – 8
Administrative – 164 (disciplinary cases)
188 CRIMINAL CASES
Women Involved – 53 (28.2%)
Married Couple – 11
Now, this is not complete but it gives a snapshot of the issue. Women are overrepresented in theft cases as compared to their numbers of employment within fire districts.
As I finish the presentation, a woman in the audience states she knows 5 women in her small community who are pink collar criminals. “I didn’t even realize I knew that many! I didn’t even know it’s a thing.” One of the stories I talk about she knows the family.
This is why I call #pinkcollarcrime the relatable crime. We know them. We work with them. Our kids go to school with their kids. We volunteer with them. These women are much like your friends, neighbors, co-workers. These women are not scary. They are not whom we think of as “bad guys.”
My job is to educate people about fraud. You have to be aware of the employee who may be your biggest threat. In many small businesses, it is she. Never underestimate the smarts, capabilities, and power of a woman.
“Also after our incident, we started reading a lot. If you have not been a victim of embezzlement, it’s just white noise. But once you start paying attention, it’s clearly an epidemic.” That quote came from a victim of a pink collar criminal who stole over $200k+ from their medical practice. Getting to hear real stories from the victims is part of my job. It’s the part that is the hardest but also very rewarding. Listening to this doctor’s story is like a record with a scratch: she was my friend, we socialized together, she handled everything, she was a long time trusted employee. I hear these stories each time I go to investigate.
I am trying to get the word out about these long time trusted employees who steal victim’s innocence and joy from their work. This victim has been devastated by the theft. Paying back taxes, reconstructing the books, and of course trying to rebuild trust with your employees and clients. And it continues. It continues because many of these women live in the victim’s community. This victim sees their former employee at the grocery store. She is not in jail. She is actually working for a new medical practice. Justice is slow. But luckily this victim is also trying to get the word out about medical embezzlement. It can happen to you and then it won’t be “white noise.”
An Orange County real estate consultant who stole $285,000 from Roman Catholic nuns and used it to buy lingerie and lease a sports car was convicted Tuesday of three counts of wire fraud.
After a three-day trial, a federal jury in Santa Ana convicted Linda Rose Gagnon, also known as Linda Gualtieri-Gagnon, 59, of defrauding the U.S. Province of the Religious of Jesus and Mary.
Asst. U.S. Atty. Robert Keenan said Gagnon told the nuns in 2008 that she was an expert in handling short-sale and foreclosure transactions and offered to help them buy a small home in San Diego they were renting for retired sisters in the religious order.
But Gagnon did not use the order’s funds to purchase the retirement home. Instead, she used it to buy lingerie, lease an Audi and pay off debts for her real estate finance company, Rose Enterprise, Inc. according to Keenan.
After only 64 days, Gagnon spent the entire sum — $285,000, he said.
“She paid off $42,000 she borrowed. There was $448 at Chadwick’s of London, an intimate apparel store in San Francisco. Then she went shopping at Nordstroms, visited the nail salon and of course a pet-sitting service…. She also leased an Audi TT sports car,” Keenan said. “She was living nicely on the nuns’ money.”
The nuns, after initially accepting Gagnon’s explanations for delays in the home purchase, realized they had been defrauded when she did not respond to their messages. The order specializes in charitable and educational work.
At one point, Gagnon told the nuns she needed another $285,000 to buy the San Diego residence, saying the original $285,000 was tied up in a “triple escrow” on another property.
Throughout the trial, Gagnon’s lawyer portrayed her as operating a bad business and accidentally comingling the funds. Gagnon did not testify, but two Catholic priests took the witness stand to attest to her character, Keenan said. They assured the court “she is really quite honest,” he added.
At sentencing next February, Gagnon could receive up to 20 years in prison for each of the three counts. Keenan said a more realistic sentence would be about four years total.
Keenan said the nuns eventually had to come up with another $255,000 to buy the home, which is about three miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.
The iconic Harvard comedy club, The Lampoon, is now being run by two women. Eleanor Parker, and President Alexis Wilkinson. Women are making such inroads in all areas of life and now it includes The Lampoon. What does this mean for women? This change sends a signal that women are welcome in what have been traditionally a testosterone structure according to the story on the Today Show,
So what does this have to do with Pink Collar Crime? This is just another stepping stone for women in the workplace. And if you have been following this blog I think it is another step for women to reach even higher levels of success. When will there be a Bernice Madoff? As Freda Adler told me it is just a matter of time before we meet Bernice Madoff. Stay tuned for bigger embezzlements perpetrated by women who are in higher levels of trust and money just like women being in the higher levels of comedy.
The former executive director of an East Orange-based non-profit developer of low-income housing was arrested today on charges she had embezzled more than $380,000 from the corporation, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement this evening.
Lancie Marchan, 64, who headed the East Orange Revitalization and Development Corporation, used the money for trips, hotel stays, visits to casinos and gifts, among other things, the statement said.
An indictment unsealed today alleges that Marchan, who was being paid an annual salary of $93,163.50, embezzled the money between 2005 and 2010.
At the time, EORDC was partnering with a private corporation to build a low-income development, called the Princeton Estates Phase II Project, with partial funding from HUD.
The indictment also alleges that Marchan’s twin 66-year-old brothers, Arthur Werts, of Chesterfield, Va., and Artemus Werts, of Plainfield – both of whom have experience in the financial and non-profit industries – helped their sister embezzle and launder the funds.
Marchan was arrested at her home in North Brunswick by officers from the prosecutor’s office and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
All three are charged with conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking and financial facilitation of criminal activity. They could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges, the prosecutor’s office said.
Marchan is being held on $50,000 bail at the county jail. Her brothers have not yet been arrested.