Stab Magazine | Clay Marzo’s Ex-Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Fraud

Clay Marzo’s Ex-Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Fraud

A step towards justice for Clay and his mother.

news // Feb 20, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

You’ll no doubt recall a little while back when it was alleged that Clay Marzo’s long-time bookkeeper had been creatively arranging (see also: stealing from) Clay and his mother’s accounts.

Well, Rivera has now pleaded guilty in federal court to 13 counts of wire fraud in a scheme to defraud Clay and his mother. According to Maui News, Rivera “admitted she was guilty of wire fraud in connection with a plan to bilk Marzo and his mother, Jill Marzo Clark, of nearly $374,000 in funds from the banking accounts of their business, Cmarzo Inc. Rivera faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each of the 13 counts to which she plead, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which announced the guilty plea Friday.”

As told by Maui News: “According to court documents and evidence presented: Rivera became the bookkeeper for two Maui businesses operated by the mother and son. As their bookkeeper, Rivera had access to the bank accounts of each business. After gaining the owners’ confidence, she would falsely represent to them that business funds were required to pay legitimate expenses. “In truth, the funds were not required for business expenses but were intended by Rivera to be deposited into her personal checking account and fraudulently converted to her own use,” federal prosecutors said.

“From December 2008 through August 2015, Rivera wrote 193 unauthorised checks to herself totalling about $334,500. She also tapped the victims’ accounts to pay her personal monthly credit card bills. Information presented in court showed that, in over 87 monthly transactions, Rivera stole another $75,488 from the victims’ bank accounts without their knowledge or consent.”

In 2015, Clay’s mother found charges on her Macy’s card for expensive purses and other things she hadn’t purchased. With a little research she learned the purchases were sent to Rivera’s address. That’s when she contacted the authorities.

As a result of Rivera’s illegal spending habits, Clay, who was diagnosed early in his career with Asperger’s, a form of autism that affects a person’s ability to effectively communicate with others, was left $30,000 in debt with no money left in his life savings. His mother also lost a sizeable amount of money, to the woman she considered a family member. Clark said that Clay’s Asperger’s was a contributing factor to Rivera not being caught sooner.

Rivera’s sentencing is scheduled for June 5. Let’s hope Clay and his mother get the justice they deserve.


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