There are harmless diversions and then there are harmful ones. An example of a harmless diversion is when your child is having a temper tantrum in the middle of the check-out line at the grocery store, and you offer them a binky, favorite toy, blanket, or piece of candy to make them stop screaming. A good example of a harmful diversion is a Chautauqua County, N.Y., woman who siphoned off approximately $238,871.58 from her company’s bank account and put it into her own bank account.
Alicia Raynor, 44, of Westfield, worked as the business manager for Compassion at Home, Inc., where she managed the in-home care company’s finances and payroll. (These duties gave her access to multiple company bank accounts.)
Court records show that Raynor opened an account with Intuit, Inc. to process payroll and other payments through Quickbook, an accounting software package. This enabled Compassion at Home, Inc. to direct deposit payroll through wire transfers into employees’ bank accounts and make payments related to the company’s business expenses.
Raynor diverted $238,871.58 from Compassion at Home’s bank accounts into accounts that she controlled. To avoid detection, Raynor disguised Quickbook entries to make it look like the payments were going to Bank of America, Capital One, or Compassion at Home employees. (I’m sure that when the owners of Compassion at Home, Inc. discovered the diverted funds, there was no compassion for this former employee, nor binky big enough to quiet the owners down.)
Raynor also neglected to report $1,214,444 in payments from Compassion at Home on her tax returns between 2013 and 2016. (The IRS says this means that she owes $370,005 in estimated taxes.)
Raynor was convicted of wire fraud and filing a false tax return. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison and was ordered to pay $799,625.27 in restitution. (Who’s crying now?)
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Chautauqua County woman sentenced for stealing thousands from health care agency,” published by WGRZ.com on January 5, 2022.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Chautauqua County woman will be spending the next 18 months behind bars for stealing nearly $800,000 from a health care agency.
Alicia Raynor, 44, of Westfield, was convicted of wire fraud and filing a false tax return.