Five ripped off IT giant with $7M+ in bogus work expenses, prosecutors claim
Account manager and pals blew it on hotels, cruise, fancy meals and more allegedly
Five people have been accused of pulling off a "brazen" scam that involved submitting more than $7 million in fake work expense claims to an IT consultancy to bankroll hotel stays, a cruise, visits to strip clubs, and more.
Mark Angarola, Allison Angarola, Jose Garcia, Michelle Cox, and Lisa Mincak were all arrested and charged in the US with one count each of wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, both of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Additionally, Mark Angarola, Cox, and Garcia have been charged with tax evasion and failing to report their true income to the IRS, including proceeds from the alleged embezzlement scheme.
"As alleged, the five defendants engaged in a brazen, lengthy embezzlement scheme that involved no-show jobs, false timesheets, fraudulent billings, and disguising personal expenses as purported business expenses," US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement today.
"In total, they allegedly bilked a corporate victim out of more than $7 million."
The alleged swindle began in May 2010 and continued through February 2019, according to court documents. At the time, Mark Angarola was a global account general manager at the unnamed IT consultancy. Allison Angarola was married to Mark, Garcia was a friend of the couple who controlled multiple corporate and limited liability entities, Cox was married to Garcia, and Mincak worked as Mark Angarola's executive assistant.
The consultancy subcontracted some of its work out to a tech company based in New Jersey, and Mark Angarola oversaw the subcontractor, including approving invoices and expenses for purported work performed.
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As part of the alleged scam, Mark Angarola arranged for the subcontractor to hire his wife, friends, and assistant, "despite the fact that these individuals — who included a schoolteacher, a homemaker, a police sergeant, and a manger in the construction industry — lacked apparent qualifications to perform IT work," prosecutors alleged [PDF].
And then Mark Angarola approved phony invoices and business expenses submitted by his co-conspirators that his employer – the unnamed IT consultancy – paid out to the tune of $7 million or more, it is alleged.
Prosecutors claimed these expenses ultimately funded slap-up meals, hotel stays, a cruise, visits to "gentlemen's clubs," and transportation fees including a private car service that gave the Angarolas, their kids, and friends rides to parties, cigar bars, restaurants, and strip bars. The submitted claims were allegedly dressed up as legit work expenses.
Specifically, the wire-fraud charges state Mark Angarola pocketed $1.5 million, $751,641 went to Allison Angarola, $4.7 million to Garcia and entities he controlled, $335,500 to Cox, and $88,793 to Mincak.
Three of the alleged crew also committed related tax fraud by concealing this income from the IRS for several years.
While the name of the consultancy is redacted from the above court documents, Mark Angarola's name comes up in a remarkably similar 2019 civil lawsuit [PDF] filed against IT giant DXC by a company called Atlas Communications, which is based in New Jersey. The documents name an account manager called Mark Angarola as a DXC staffer who allegedly signed off on millions in fraudulent invoices and instructed Atlas to employ members of his family.
Angarola, according to his LinkedIn profile, worked for Virginia-based DXC as an account manager, we note.
DXC had no comment at the time of publication. ®