At least 2 years for Violeta McGough for alleged embezzlement

27 months prison term and three years of supervised release. Photo by Boyet Loverita

A former accounting specialist in the Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, office of an insurance broker was sentenced to 27 months in prison for defrauding her employer of approximately $900,000, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced on May 20.

Violeta McGough, 57, of Bergenfield, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an information charging her with one count of wire fraud. Judge Arleo imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to a press statement from the Department of Justice,U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey:

-From 2008 through October 2015, McGough allegedly made numerous fraudulent accounting entries to steal funds that her employer – identified as “Victim-Company 1” – collected as insurance premiums. The premiums were for policies underwritten and issued by Victim-Company 1 on behalf of a United Kingdom-based insurance syndicate that actually held the risk. As part of her employment duties, McGough tracked premiums collected by Victim-Company 1 and its monthly payments to the syndicate.

-McGough repeatedly used her access to Victim-Company 1’s books to divert a portion of those payments to her personal use. McGough disguised the stolen funds as reimbursed premiums for cancelled policies. She caused Victim-Company 1 to generate checks payable to a person identified in the complaint as “Individual 1,” who supposedly worked for a premium financing company, but did not actually work there. McGough personally deposited the checks into Individual 1’s bank account and the bulk of the funds were transmitted back to McGough’s bank account.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Arleo sentenced McGough to three years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James Buthorn, and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David W. Feder of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

McGough was a treasurer of the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. for many years, and resigned in 2017 citing health reasons.  PIDCI alleged she was “delinquent” in filing its tax returns for the period from 2013 to 2016, which led to the revocation of the organization’s tax-exempt status.

“That former treasurer has a pending criminal case with the New Jersey State that is based on her alleged actions similar to what she did while she was a PIDCI official…PIDCI is a victim of the act of one of its directors,” according to court papers filed by PIDCI in response to a petition alleging “the lack of transparency and accountability,” among other issues. The petition was filed by Juliet Payabyab of United Mindoro International, Inc. and Nieva Burdick of the Philippine Community Center Services for Aging.

Meanwhile, some members of the community speaking privately said they feel for the McGough family.

“Hopefully things will be fine with the family,” said one community leader.

The FilAm is awaiting statements from PIDCI on the McGough decision, as well as from the lawyer for McGough, public defender David Holman. We will publish them once them become available.  

© The FilAm 2019

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