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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Former Controller of Manhattan Investment Firm Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Embezzling Over $734,000

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that RICHARD TEDESCHI, the former Controller of a Manhattan-based investment firm, pleaded guilty today to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft for stealing more than $734,000 from the firm. TEDESCHI entered his guilty plea before United States District Judge LEWIS A. KAPLAN in Manhattan federal court.

According to the criminal Information to which TEDESCHI pleaded guilty, documents previously filed in this case, and statements made in court: While employed at the investment firm, TEDESCHI engaged in a seven-year scheme to defraud the firm. Among other things, TEDESCHI forged the signatures of officers who had check-signing authority on company checks and used the company checks to make payments on his personal expenses or to himself directly. TEDESCHI also obtained authorized representatives' signatures on the firm's checks to make payments on what TEDESCHI represented to be company expenses, but which were actually for his personal expenses. Additionally, TEDESCHI caused unauthorized charges to be made on the investment firm's American Express account.
In all, TEDESCHI stole over $734,000 from the firm, over $633,000 of which was used to pay his personal American Express bills. TEDESCHI directed $7,500 to the payment of the mortgage on his home; $2,500 to the payment of telephone bills; and $12,000 to personal expenses charged on the firm's American Express account. He also caused the firm to pay him directly approximately $79,000.
TEDESCHI, 51, of Morris Plains, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. TEDESCHI faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the mail fraud count, and a maximum fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss from the offense. On the aggravated identity theft charge, TEDESCHI faces an additional two-year sentence that would be served consecutively with a sentence on the mail fraud charge. Sentencing is scheduled for June 21, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. before Judge KAPLAN.
U.S. Attorney BHARARA stated: "Richard Tedeschi abused his authority over his firm's finances, turning a position of oversight into something underhanded. After years of using forgery and fraud to siphon $730,000 for his own benefit, Tedeschi's gravy train is at an end. We will continue to partner with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to pursue thieves, whatever the color of their collars."
Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the investigation of this case.
This case is being prosecuted by the Office's Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant United States Attorney DAVID I. MILLER is in charge of the prosecution.

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