3rd Fraud is Not the Charm

Buckle up everyone. Previously we looked at an individual who stole to pay back a previous employer he had stolen from. Today we have Mandy Deann Urban, 47. According to the indictment, Mandy was a senior staff accountant for an unnamed company in Charlotte, NC. She is accused of stealing $1.1 million.

Urban was responsible for general ledger entries and financial statement preparation, along with reconciling AP, AR, and bank accounts. From 2019 to 2022 Urban pulled the unsophisticated, but reliable ploy of transferring data to bank accounts she controlled and making fraudulent entries to cover her tracks. Basic SOD blocking and tackling was missing here. One person managing the GL, moving funds, and performing reconciliations is problematic at best.

Urban allegedly made 245 transfers for just over $1.1 million. It alleged that she used the funds to pay personal expenses, including tens of thousands of dollars for mortgage, car, education, and vacation expenses, and to buy cryptocurrency. Additionally, it is alleged that Urban transferred significant amounts of embezzled funds to family members. It is not alleged that she used any of the money to pay restitution due in previous cases.

There are some important unknowns here. The indictment says she did this from January 2019 to June 2022. Based on a Ft. Myers News Press story from May 2022, she was arrested in Charlotte in early 2021 on an outstanding fugitive warrant. I haven’t been able to find clarification for the date discrepancy. I’m giving the unnamed company the benefit of the doubt that she didn’t continue to work there for another year. I assume someone has their dates wrong. Still, that’s a heck of a way to get caught.

Prior to her stint in Charlotte, Urban worked for Quigley Eye Specialists (operating as Eye Health of Fort Myers) and St. John’s Surgery Center. They fired her after noticing “bookkeeping irregularities”. From 2013 to 2017 she wrote herself 108 business checks totaling $267k. While working in Charlotte, she was supposed to be paying more than $283k in restitution.

How did she get caught in Ft. Myers? The company found out she had a prior conviction for stealing $135k from a previous employer using fraudulent credit card transactions.

There’s not much information on the earliest case, but in Charlotte and Ft. Myers, it was outside influences like an outstanding warrant or finding a previous conviction that got her caught. Without those, Urban could have kept stealing.

This is why you should do background checks. I’m all for giving people a chance to turn their lives around just don’t do it through the accounting department.