MANATEE — A Palmetto woman is being accused of embezzling nearly $700,000 from a Bradenton company after being charged with federal wire fraud.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced charges Friday against Beverly Sue Gingell, 60, who was formerly employed by Pro-Link in Bradenton as its finance manager.
According to the complaint, Gingell embezzled $697,000 from the summer of 2010 to March 2011 by sending money by wire transfer to her bank account and making money orders payable to herself and others. One of the wire transferred paid off the remaining $40,000 balance of her mortgage, according to the complaint. Gingell made 71 wire transfers totaling $620,000 alone, according to the complaint.
Pro-Link, 1813 Manatee Ave. W, provides global corporate immigration training, counseling and consulting for companies and has been in business since 2005, according to the company’s website.
Gingell had also falsified her credentials, according to a complaint. In depositions for a civil suit Pro-Link filed against Gingell, she admitted to stealing funds by wire transfer, through money orders, that she was never a certified public accountant and was not an enrolled Internal Revenue Service agent.
Gingell said during the deposition that she was using the stolen money to support four grandchildren and a daughter who had a drug habit, according to the federal affidavit.
Gingell never entered an appearance or plea in the case and the judge entered a default judgment against Gingell for Pro-Link to recover $749,296, according to court records. The company also filed a lien against her home, 2247 50th St. Circle E, as part of the recovery of funds, court records show.
Pro-Link did not vet Gingell’s credentials and claims of being a certified public accountant and an enrolled Internal Revenue Service agent, according to the federal affidavit.
Pro-Link’s owners said they did not know that Gingell provided a form to the IRS with a power of attorney form showing she had power to perform an audit with IRS agents of the business’s 2009 taxes, showing that the owner’s name was forged, according to the affidavit.
The shoddy bookkeeping resulted in the IRS showing that Pro-Link had an increase of taxable income of more than $2 million, prompting over $900,000 in taxes and fees to the IRS, according to the complaint.
Gingell also admitted in the civil suit deposition that she didn’t’ share the final IRS report with Pro-Link’s owners, fearing she would be fired, according to the complaint.
If convicted, Gingell faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, which could instead be twice as much the gross money she made from the embezzlement or twice as much of money lost by the embezzlement, according to the Department of Justice. Gingell appeared before Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Jenkins in Tampa Thursday and was released on a $50,000 personal surety bond.