Fraud Case Success Story
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  • 1. Downtown Eugene Inc.
  • 2. • Russell Carl Brink• Age 55• Executive Director
  • 3. • Association of downtown Eugene businesses• Business Improvement District• Collection of dues• About 15% from the City of Eugene (taxpayer funds)• Funds used for promotion of Downtown• Mall Guides – “Red Hats”• Annual budget of about $500,000• Volunteer Board of Directors
  • 4. Management Transition• 2008 – decision to transition management of DEI to the Chamber• Reduce overhead expenses• Contract with Brink to assist in the transition• $10,000 per month for a three month period
  • 5. The Discovery• Brink does not perform during the transition period as expected• Contract is terminated early• Brink re-locates to New Hampshire
  • 6. The Discovery• During a review of documents in Brink’s office a discarded Wells Fargo Bank statement for August 2008 is discovered• Suspicious ATM cash withdrawals
  • 7. Financial Analysis• DEI’s finances for a one year period are examined by a private CPA• Discovery of numerous suspicious transactions• First report to Police in April 2009
  • 8. In the Media
  • 9. The Investigation• Discovery of two DEI • ATM cash withdrawals Bank accounts from local bars and – Wells Fargo Bank clubs – Bank of America • Locations all operated state video poker machines
  • 10. The Investigation• Cash back from deposits• Irregular pay checks to Brink for varying amounts• Direct bank transfers from both accounts: – Credit cards – Cell phone accounts
  • 11. The Investigation• Subpoena for Brink’s personal bank records – ATM cash withdrawals – Same bar/video poker locations
  • 12. The Investigation• Subpoena for Brink’s credit report – Numerous credit card debts
  • 13. The Investigation• Brink is twice-divorced• Last divorce in 2006• DEI records show increase in ATM withdrawals and other payments 2006-2007
  • 14. The Investigation• University Small Business Association• Safe and Sound• Eugene in Common Brink volunteers with these organizations handling the finances!
  • 15. The InvestigationSafe and Sound – a Lane County program funded by grants toaid at-risk youth.• Received an Annenberg Foundationgrant for $100,000 in November2007• Funds moved in multipletransactions to DEI bank accounts• Brink restores these funds toS&S with a $90,000 personalcheck!
  • 16. The Investigation• University Small • Eugene in Common Business Association – Operation transferred to – No missing funds Saturday market – Money moving back and – Brink closed bank forth through DEI account – Direct relationship with – Turned over check and DEI through Mall Guides incomplete box of records to new managers
  • 17. The Investigation• Interviews with DEI employees – Bounced paychecks – Brink asked several to hold paychecks a few days – Brink sometimes paid bounced check penalties for employees out of his pocket – DEI always short on money
  • 18. The Investigation• Interviews with DEI board members past and present – Relied on Brink’s statements on DEI finances – Repeated requests for additional documents – Lack of knowledge about DEI financial details
  • 19. Financial Losses• Approximately $150,000 in losses from 2005 – 2008• Statute of limitations reduces the loss figure to about $85,000
  • 20. Grand Jury Indictment• July 2010 – Brink indicted for multiple thefts• Warrant isn’t entered until January 2011
  • 21. Brink in New Hampshire• Ex-wife identifies woman in New Hampshire• Public records check shows Brink at the same address
  • 22. Brink in New Hampshire Area• August 2008
  • 23. Brink in New Hampshire Area
  • 24. Brink in New Hampshire• FaceBook • Brink responds to electronic• Yahoo! communications!
  • 25. Brink in New Hampshire• Brink is advised of the warrant• Says he will drive to Eugene in early January 2011
  • 26. Brink in Jail• January 19, 2011 – Brink turns him self in to the Lane County Jail
  • 27. In the Media (again)
  • 28. In the Media (again)
  • 29. Negotiations• Prison sentence?• Probation?• Restitution?• What are we going to do with Mr. Brink?
  • 30. Sentencing • 120 months prison • Downward departure to 5 years of probation • Approximately $85,000 restitution • $30,000 at time of sentencing • Probation violation means 120 month sentence imposed
  • 31. Final News Story
  • 32. The Players• DEI Board • Wells Fargo Bank• DEI Mall Guides • Bank of America• Chamber of Commerce • Equifax• Safe and Sound • Brink’s 2nd Ex-wife program / Lane County • Lane County District• University Small Attorney’s Office Business Association • Lane County Jail• Eugene in Common • Cell phone carriers,• City of Eugene credit card issuers, etc.
  • 33. Detective Steve Williams CFCEEugene Police DepartmentFinancial Crimes Unit / Arson Unit777 Pearl Street Room 107Eugene OR 97401541-682-2682 office541-682-8337 faxEmail: steve.e.williams@ci.eugene.or.us