Electronic transfers

Clovis CPA Charged With Million Dollar Theft In Payroll Scam

published on October 14, 2021 – 10:24 AM
Written by Business Journal staff

A retired Clovis CPA is accused of electronically stealing more than $ 1 million from a bank in 2017.

A grand jury issued an indictment last week against Kenneth Gould, a 65-year-old retired CPA from Clovis, accusing him of bank robbery. He is due to be brought to justice today in federal court in Fresno.

Gould operated a payroll services company, according to court documents. From October 2017 to March 2018, he was accused of initiating more than 90 fraudulent payments to the automated clearinghouse from one of his clients’ accounts to his payroll account. Automated clearing house payment is a type of electronic transfer used to transfer money from one bank account to another. He and his client shared the same bank.

Payments totaled over $ 20 million, although everything was clawed back except for around $ 1 million. Gould withdrew the million dollars while payments were pending, court documents show.

The bank credited the fraudulent payments to the payroll company’s account, based on its previous business relationship with Gould’s company. The bank realized that there was not enough funds to cover the payments, then refused them and attempted to collect the money.

Gould is accused of withdrawing cash, cashier’s checks and online transfers to other accounts he had access to. Although he said he would return the money after the bank repeatedly requested it, he never returned it, according to the indictment.

Assistant US Attorney Joseph D. Barton is pursuing the case.

If convicted, Gould faces a maximum legal sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $ 250,000.

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