Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ex-Law Firm Employees Plead Guilty To Ripping Off $788K+ From Clients' Real Estate Trust Account Funds, Company's Business Accounts

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Trenton, New Jersey):

  • Two former employees of a law firm based in Edison, N.J., admitted [] to conspiring to defraud their former employer by improperly diverting more than $788,000 from the law firm, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

    Marla Deptula, 45, of Sayreville, N.J., pleaded guilty to an Information charging her with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. Rose L. Crabbe, 31, of Plainfield, N.J., pleaded guilty to an Information charging her with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Both defendants entered their guilty pleas before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court.

    According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

    Deptula and Crabbe each admitted that between February 2005 and September 2007, they conspired to embezzle, and did, in fact, embezzle, from their former employer, referred to in court documents only as the “Law Firm,” by wrongfully writing checks from the law firm’s trust and business accounts to themselves and their personal creditors to pay for their personal expenses, including credit card bills, real estate taxes and child care expenses.
  • Deptula, who had access to the law firm’s bank accounts in order to perform her duties as a secretary in the law firm’s real estate section, used that access to divert more than $788,000 from the attorney trust and business accounts for her and Crabbe’s personal benefit.(1) Deptula received the vast majority of the stolen funds and failed to report any of the income on her federal tax returns.
For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Former New Jersey Law Firm Employees Admit Embezzling More Than $788,000 In Law Firm Funds.

(1) According to the formal charges against Deptula, she "caused checks to be issued from the LAW FIRM'S trust account payable to clients of the LAW FIRM, forged the clients' endorsements on the back of the checks, and then deposited those checks into bank accounts that she controlled."

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