Woman Pleads Guilty To Defrauding A Local Company

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BUFFALO – A Westfield woman plead guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax return in a Buffalo courtroom Tuesday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Alicia Raynor, 42, could see a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Fabian, who is handling the case, says that Raynor was hired as a business manager for Compassion at Home, Inc. Her duties included, among other things, managing company finances and payroll. At various times during the company’s operation, payroll and other financial payments were made from different company bank accounts.

While working as a business manager for the company, Raynor opened an account with Intuit, Inc., a payroll and payment processing service located outside the state of New York. The Intuit account enabled Compassion at Home, by way of wire transfers, to direct deposit payroll into employees’ bank accounts and otherwise make other direct deposit payments related to Compassion at Home’s business expenses. The payments were made using an accounting software package known as Quickbooks, which linked to Compassion at Home’s bank account.

While employed with Compassion at Home, Raynor diverted money from Compassion at Home’s bank accounts to accounts that she controlled. In order to avoid detection, Raynor disguised Quickbook entries to make it appear that the payments were to Bank of America, Capital One, or Compassion at Home employees.

Between August 2015 and June 2016, Raynor fraudulently diverted approximately $238,871.58 from the company’s bank account. This amount includes funds to which she was not entitled for compensation or reimbursement for expenses. For example, on May 19, 2016, Raynor caused a wire transfer in the amount of $2,978.19 from Intuit’s account to a joint checking account with her husband, with an entry in Quickbooks indicating that the payment was to Bank of America.

In addition, for the tax years 2013 through 2016, Raynor received $1,214,444 in payments from Compassion at Home that she did not report as income on her tax returns for those years. The Internal Revenue Service estimates tax owed for these tax years is $370,005. On May 15, 2017, the defendant caused the filing of a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, for the 2015 tax year, falsely claiming a total income of $52,290, and income from Compassion at Home in the total amount of $29,615.14.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, and the Westfield Police Department, under the direction of Chief Rob Genther.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 8, 2020, at 2 p.m. before Judge Sinatra.

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