Fraud Case Success Story

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Fraud Case Success Story

  1. 1. Downtown Eugene Inc.
  2. 2. • Russell Carl Brink• Age 55• Executive Director
  3. 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. 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. 5. The Discovery• Brink does not perform during the transition period as expected• Contract is terminated early• Brink re-locates to New Hampshire
  6. 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. 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. 8. In the Media
  9. 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. 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. 11. The Investigation• Subpoena for Brink’s personal bank records – ATM cash withdrawals – Same bar/video poker locations
  12. 12. The Investigation• Subpoena for Brink’s credit report – Numerous credit card debts
  13. 13. The Investigation• Brink is twice-divorced• Last divorce in 2006• DEI records show increase in ATM withdrawals and other payments 2006-2007
  14. 14. The Investigation• University Small Business Association• Safe and Sound• Eugene in Common Brink volunteers with these organizations handling the finances!
  15. 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. 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. 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. 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. 19. Financial Losses• Approximately $150,000 in losses from 2005 – 2008• Statute of limitations reduces the loss figure to about $85,000
  20. 20. Grand Jury Indictment• July 2010 – Brink indicted for multiple thefts• Warrant isn’t entered until January 2011
  21. 21. Brink in New Hampshire• Ex-wife identifies woman in New Hampshire• Public records check shows Brink at the same address
  22. 22. Brink in New Hampshire Area• August 2008
  23. 23. Brink in New Hampshire Area
  24. 24. Brink in New Hampshire• FaceBook • Brink responds to electronic• Yahoo! communications!
  25. 25. Brink in New Hampshire• Brink is advised of the warrant• Says he will drive to Eugene in early January 2011
  26. 26. Brink in Jail• January 19, 2011 – Brink turns him self in to the Lane County Jail
  27. 27. In the Media (again)
  28. 28. In the Media (again)
  29. 29. Negotiations• Prison sentence?• Probation?• Restitution?• What are we going to do with Mr. Brink?
  30. 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. 31. Final News Story
  32. 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. 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

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