Recently in White Collar Crimes Category

October 13, 2010

Wilmington Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Millions from Comedian Half-Brother Dane Cook


Darryl McCauley, of Wilmington, pled Guilty to stealing millions of dollars from his celebrity comedian half-brother, Dane Cook.

McCauley had been indicted in Middlesex Superior Court on 27 counts of Larceny Over $250, three counts of Forgery, Embezzlement, Uttering, and Conspiracy. McCauley allegedly stole millions from Dane Cook when he worked as his business manager from the early 1990's to December of 2008. The indictment alleged that he wrote company checks to himself and transferred funds to his personal bank account.

As a result of his plea deal, McCauley was sentenced to five to six years in state prison.

In Massachusetts, Larceny is the wrongful taking of the personal property from another person, with the intent to deprive that person of that property permanently. In order to be convicted of the crime of Larceny, the prosecutor is required to prove four things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the defendant took the property;
  2. That the property belonged to someone other than the defendant;
  3. That the property was taken from the person who owned it or from the other person's immediate control; and
  4. That the defendant did so with the intent to deprive that person of the property permanently.

Embezzlement, on the the other hand, is the unlawful conversion of the property of another with the intent to steal it. The crime of Embezzlement is met if the prosecutor can prove:

  1. That the defendant, while in a position of trust or confidence, was entrusted with possession of personal property belonging to another person;
  2. That the defendant fraudulently took, hid or converted that property for his own use without the consent of the owner; and
  3. That the defendant did so with the intent to deprive the owner of that property permanently.

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July 22, 2010

Former VP at Beverly Hospital Charged in $500,000 Bribery Scheme


Paul Galzerano, 58, of Groveland, Massachusetts, was arraigned today in Essex County Superior Court in Salem on 3 counts of Bribery and 4 counts of Larceny Over $250 for allegedly defrauding Beverly Hospital of almost $500,000.

The Essex Count District Attorney's Office alleges that between 2003 and 2006, Galzerano was responsible for overseeing a multimillion dollar renovation at Beverly Hospital and during that time, he repeatedly orchestrated kickbacks from certain contractors. Galzerano and contractor Brian Lemay, 53 of Andover, are accused of inflating the price of proposals; Lemay would accept the work for excessive funds, and then kickback money to Galzerano in the form of payments to Galzerano's personal credit cards and his home mortgage. Galzerano is additionally alleged to be responsible for the theft of numerous antiques and paintings from Beverly Hospital.

The contractors charged in connection with this Bribery scheme include Brian Lemay of Andover and Alfred Cunsolo of Methuen, both charged with Larceny; as well as John Kane of Hanover, also to be charged with Bribery.

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June 3, 2010

Former State Senator Wilkerson Plead Guilty to Attempted Extortion in Boston's Federal Court


Wilkerson.jpgDiane Wilkerson, the former State Senator from Roxbury, Massachusetts, appeared in Boston's Federal Court today and pled Guilty to 8 counts of Attempted Extortion.

Wilkerson was charged with Attempted Extortion for allegedly taking thousands of dollars in bribes. She was initially charged under a 32 count indictment, which also included Conspiracy to Extort Cash, Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud. 24 of those indictments were dismissed by Federal prosecutors in exchange for her guilty plea to the 8 counts of Attempted Extortion.

The substance of the criminal indictments on the extortion charges included taking bribes totaling $23,500 to secure a liquor license for a nightclub, as well as promising to influence legislation relative to commercial development in her district of Roxbury. Federal prosecutors also alleged that Wilkerson accepted $23,500 from a Roxbury businessman, Ronald Wilburn. Wilburn, however, was cooperating with the FBI and assisted in procuring surveillance video of Wilkerson stuffing cash into her bra.Wilkerson_stuffing.jpg

Notably, facing criminal charges was nothing new to the former State Senator. In 1997, Wilkerson pled guilty for failing to file tax returns. In 1998, she violated her probation and she was ordered to a halfway house for 30 days. Also in 1998, Wilkerson was found in violation of campaign finance laws.

Although the maximum penalty for Attempted Extortion in Massachusetts State Courts is up to 15 years in state prison, under Federal Law, each Attempted Extortion Charge carries up to 20 years, as well as a $250,000 fine. As a result of Wilkerson's change of plea and conviction, Federal prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 4 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release and a fine of $23,500. U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock has scheduled Wilkerson's sentencing hearing for September 20, 2010.

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May 17, 2010

Harvard Student Charged with Larceny & Identity Theft


Adam B. Wheeler, 23, a Harvard University senior, is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in Middlesex Superior Court for various Theft Crimes involving allegedly forging academic documents, transcripts, and for collecting over $45,000 in financial aid and scholarships under false pretenses.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Wheeler was admitted by Harvard as a result of falsely claiming that he had attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Phillips Academy in Andover, neither of which he attended. Harvard investigators discovered that he had once attended Bowdoin College in Maine, and improperly used referenced from that school when applying to Harvard, even though some of the referenced had never met him.

Harvard administrators became suspicious of Wheeler when he applied for the prestigious Rhodes and Fulbright Scholarships, and then discovered that he had allegedly plagiarized another student's work. Further investigation discovered that Wheeler had also fabricated his Harvard transcript by giving himself straight A's.

Interestingly, when Harvard began investigating him and Wheeler was put on administrative leave, he then applied to Yale and Brown University as a transfer student. He also applied for an internship at McLean Hospital, claiming he was taking a semester off.

Wheeler is scheduled to be Arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on four counts of Larceny Over $250; eight counts of Identity Fraud; and seven counts of Falsifying an Endorsement or Approval and Pretending to Hold a Degree.

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March 2, 2010

Bogus Bridal Show Scams Thousands


In an elaborate cyber crime, a website advertising a fake bridal show to be held in Boston at the Hynes Convention Center this coming weekend scammed thousands of brides and vendors of several thousand dollars. The website, The Boston 411, targeted people and vendors through popular bridal event websites and common social media sites such as Facebook.

The internet bridal scam was not discovered until recently when vendors started calling the Convention Center in Boston asking when they could start setting up their booths. It wasn't until that time that the police were contacted and Hynes Convention Center officials confirming that no bridal event had even been scheduled.

The Associated Press reports that approximately 6,000 people and vendors signed up for the non-existent show. Potential attendees prepaid a registration fee of up to $15, and vendors losing several thousand dollars, some up to $4,000, for reserving floor space and producing advertising materials for the event. The internet scammers reportedly secured payments for their fraudulent crime-scheme by demanding online payments through PayPal or similar online money transfer services.

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February 19, 2010

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Indicted on Bribery Charges


A Suffolk County Grand Jury has indicted Massachusetts State Police Trooper Robert A. Forrest, Jr., for allegedly accepting a $50 bribe to falsify vehicle inspection records for a Revere body shop.  The State Police Trooper and two men, Bernaldo Hernandez and Kenneth Lafauci, all face criminal Conspiracy and Bribery charges.

The Massachusetts State Police Trooper was assigned to the State Police salvage title section, where he was responsible for inspecting damaged vehicles and confirm that repairs had been done to them without the use of stolen parts.  The Suffolk County Grand Jury indictment alleges that he was paid off to skip the inspections and just sign off on paperwork permitting the damaged vehicles to either be sold or allowed back on the road.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268A, Section 3, which governs the Offer or Acceptance of Anything of Substantial Value by Government Employees, states that whoever, being a present government employee, receives anything of substantial value because of any official act or acts within his official responsibility or to influence him in an official act taken, shall be punished by imprisonment in the House of Corrections for up to 2.5 years or in state prison for up to 5 years.

Interestingly with regards to this case, Chapter 268, Section 3(f) defines 'substantial value' as not less than $50.  

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