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Hudson Valley Woman Admits Stealing $1.1M From BMW Dealer

Continental BMW of Darien
Continental BMW of Darien Photo Credit: Google Maps

A Hudson Valley woman has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million from an auto dealer where she worked in Fairfield County.

Vanessa Vence-Small, 50, of New Windsor in Orange County, pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing the money while working as a controller at Continental BMW of Darien, according to John Durham, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut.

From October 2014 to June 2017, Vence-Small made 65 unauthorized electronic fund transfers, totaling $904,659.29, from the dealership’s bank account to her personal American Express account, the statement said.

During that same time period, Vence-Small also issued and signed 28 checks drawn on the dealership’s bank account, for $207,777.78, to pay, personal credit card companies, contractors who performed work at her residence, and a different dealership from which she purchased a car.

She also incurred on company accounts an additional $31,452.08 in unauthorized credit card charges and reimbursements, the statement said.

Vence-Small, who is free on $100,000 bail, is scheduled for sentencing May 24, at which time she faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to approximately $2.3 million, and an order of full restitution.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, Darien Police Department, and Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen.

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