Tag Archives: lifestyle
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.