A federal grand jury handed down an indictment charging 66-year-old Roberta Czap, of Newark, with wire fraud, money laundering, identity theft, and tax offenses, the United States Attorney for the District of Delaware announced on Sunday, December 18, 2016.
According to the Department of Justice, the indictment alleged that Czap--who was employed in the accounting department of a Newark financial services firm--had directed more than $6.1 million dollars in electronic funds transfers (EFTs) from her company's operating account to her own personal bank accounts, between 2011 and 2016.
The formal accusation detailed how Czap would use the personal identification information of another employee to create false payment requests, designed to appear legitimate, to the company's vendors. Then, using her own credentials, Czap authorized nearly 500 payments with company funds.
The indictment further alleged that, between January 2013 and July 2016, using the company's funds that had been fraudulently deposited into her personal accounts, the defendant and her husband would withdraw approximately $2.7 million dollars in cash at various casinos in Delaware and elsewhere. Though Czap gambled regularly, the indictment claimed, she would also frequently cash out the casino credit for U.S. currency and, over time, deposited approximately $1.2 million dollars in two separate bank accounts held in her husband's name.
Federal officials claimed that while Czap filed federal tax returns for 2013-2015, those returns did not, as was required by law, include her illegal income from the company’s funds, and materially understated her income.
"I want to thank both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation," U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, Charles M. Oberly, III, said in announcing the indictment. "(The) defendant’s attempts to conceal the source of her illegal income made detection of the fraud more challenging, but the diligent and thorough investigative work of law enforcement uncovered the significant fraud perpetrated not only against the victim company, but the American people."
If convicted, Czap would face up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud and money laundering charges, up to 10 years for engaging in a separate money laundering transaction, and up to three years on the tax offenses. In addition to incarceration on the other charges, Czap could face an extra mandatory two years term of imprisonment, if found guilty of the identity theft charge.