A former Bergen County resident now living in Connecticut admitted Wednesday that she embezzled $540,000 from a local company.
Melissa Corso, 50, and her husband lived in Closter when she worked for a Delaware-based security systems supplier with an office in Ridgefield Park, federal authorities said.
Corso, currently of Groton, CT, and co-worker Joseph Spaccavento steered customer payments owed to their former employer to a PayPal account registered to him and linked to her work email, according to an FBI complaint.
The customers, in turn, sent more than $3.1 million through 1,150 transactions, it says.
Corso told a judge in U.S. District Court in Newark on Wednesday that she and Spaccavento siphoned off $516,857 that they diverted to themselves and her husband, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.
They used much of the money to order items online that were delivered to their work and home addresses from eBay, Bloomingdale’s, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, GrubHub, Forever 21, Louis Vuitton, MAC Cosmetics and Target, Honig said.
Corso diverted an additional $29,735 after Spaccavento left the company, she said. She tried to protect the scam by doctoring invoices and other records “based on her role and responsibilities for coordinating the collection of customer payments and applying payments to customer invoices,” the FBI complaint on file in Newark says.
Spaccavento, rather than face trial, took a deal from the government, pleading guilty in May to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Authorities didn’t say whether his deal included an agreement to testify against Corso if her case went to trial.
U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti scheduled Corso's sentencing for Dec. 8.
Honig credited special agents of the FBI with the investigation leading to the arrest and plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer S. Kozar of her Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
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